I just got home from Winnipeg, where I once lived and where both of my kids were born. I was there to promote The Silver Compass. After my reading, one woman approached me and politely said, "I've now read all your novels and with each one I think your writing gets better."
What a nice compliment. It also helps me explain why I waited five years to write my next novel, Keeper of the Pond. To be honest, I just wasn't ready. I didn't feel strong enough or confident enough to do the story justice. But now I feel I can, which makes letting go of The Silver Compass a little easier as I get back to work on novel #4.
Even so, the task itself, the completion of that first solid draft, makes me feel (as it always does) like I'm climbing a steep and rickety ladder! Tomorrow I'll be digging back into writing in a big way for the next 2-3 months. Wish me luck.