I bleed creativity and artistic energy.
Sounds painful but art is torturing you soul and hoping it has a good ending.
Sometimes it does, other times your writing is allowed to collect dust and your energy rusts.
But a true artist writes because they must and soon, they earn the character's trust and THAT is when you start getting places.
However, when you make a wrong move, your characters try to leave you and you have to convince them the story is worth going through, even if that's not totally true.
Usually, if in the right place of mind, you can get them to believe you, but they are in control, so if they decide to give up...letting your hard work be forever lost.
This is back to the drawing board. You get a whole new set of characters and you hope they listen to you.
You hold on for the ride and discover a whole new story from that fun.
After the characters take you on their roller coaster ride, you start working and cleaning it up, and sharing it with the world.
THAT is when you start the hard work that determines how good of a writer you truly are.
You are NOT the character's journey, but what you do with it. The characters leave you to put what they've gone through in a way people will understand.
This is the author's struggle and pain, but it is also their most victorious moment.
This moment will make feeling everything the characters did for weeks, months, and years worth it because it's finally free and done and clear and you have SOMETHING to show for all those years you had to explain that you were NOT wasting time, but creating something PERFECT that everyone will then be BEGGING to see.
They'll see..and they will finally believe what you knew all along. You can't drag characters through the story. You can just gently manipulate them and hope they make interesting choices. This is the art of writing and this art is all you have left at this time, so look at your character's heart and realize...THEY are the work of art!!!