It’s rougher to edit your first draft than it is to write it. It seems all the doubts I suppressed while striving to write the book resurface, and every new book I see looks at me in silent reproach. You can imagine what they’d say if my subconscious had a voice. You’re no good. It’s a waste of time. Your book is horrible.
You also have to be in the best shape. There is no rush of words on paper this time. You are going over plowed ground, and it’s a slow, halting process of addition and subtraction. That means any problems with your body, or your fatigue level seem multiplied. Editing through a cold or sickness can be surprisingly hard, and those make you weaker at resisting your negative subconscious.
Still, you plod on. The book starts to take more definite a shape. You still know you have more work to do, but there’s an end in sight. You do everything you can to motivate yourself, like bribery. And you set a deadline. You have to set one, because you need the pressure. You need to know you only have two months, or the temptation to slack becomes almost impossible to resist.
So you take hope, and look to the end of the path. And use the un-virtue of stubbornness to shut up yourself and keep muling to a finished book. Such a glamorous writing life, huh?