Neurosis has set in, or possibly necrosis. I stare at the screen and think "No one will like this book. They will hate it. It isn't whimsical enough. It isn't Ursula Vernon-esque enough. It's nothing like Nurk. It will be panned. My existing fan base will hate me. I will have to change my name and move into my parent's basement (or possibly Kevin's basement, assuming he can handle the sporadic firebombing from a disappointed populace.) My editor was mad to buy this book. My agent was mad to sell it to her. The jokes are obvious. Children will look at this with beady little eyes and then go get their Gameboys. Their parents will write me disappointed letters, or possibly death threats. It is too late to insert vampire squash in a desperate effort to save the manuscript. The best I can hope for is that it will vanish without a trace, and that if everyone is Very Very Kind, it will become like Highlander 2, and we will all pretend it never ever happened. If not, I will be standing on a street corner with a sign that says "Will Draw Pink Lizards For Food." Dogs will pee on me.
Etc, etc, ad insecurium.
On one level, I am aware that this is totally normal behavior. And yes, it's basically a popcorn sort of book--it's amusing fluff, admittedly with squid, including a cameo by a vampire squid. But that's okay. I, of all people, am not one to scoff at popcorn books. Yes, if Nurk was a Miyazaki film, Dragonbreath would be a show on Cartoon Network. That's okay. There is room in the world for both, and anyway, the target audience is a little younger and a bit more male. The book is not without its charm, and I must trust the sanity of my editor in purchasing it.
Unfortunately, this is not the level that matters, so I sit gnawing on my fingernails and drinking vast quantities of tea.
I don't know if this is what the writer's life looks like, but it's what THIS writer's life looks like, anyway.
And now, back to the grindstone...