When I get all full of the writing angst, Brandon reminds me that, if all else fails, he has the inside scoop with a certain publisher.
When he was nine years old or so, Brandon had a Commodore computer, a dot-matrix printer, and a concept for a novel. He saw an ad somewhere: an offer to Get Your Book Published! He got on the Commodore and wrote a letter to the company. He wanted to make sure he got the format right. He gave them an example of what they could expect from him:
Aa Bb Cc Dd Ee Ff Gg Hh Ii Jj Kk Ll Mm Nn Oo Pp Qq Rr Ss Tt Uu Vv Ww Xx Yy Zz.
He also typed out the numbers and punctuation marks, and printed this out on his dot-matrix printer.
(He wasn’t going to put all the work of writing a novel if the the publisher didn’t even accept the dot-matrix print-out.)
Eventually, someone at the press wrote him back, someone who figured that he was a kid. The person wrote that they did accept that sort of print-out, but reminded him that, at this publisher (a vanity one), it was very expensive to publish a book, yadda yadda.
I love this story for so many reasons—for one, we laughed and laughed and laughed—but part of the reason it sticks with me is that it pretty much nails the writing angst at whatever stage of the game you're at: The combination of being earnest and afraid of messing up.