I did a stupid thing
Between 2002 and 2004, I was writing an epic fantasy novel. I had 491 pages down, and then I just stopped in early 2004. Over the years, I would pull up the manuscript and do some edits here and there, and try and fail to get back into the story. I had not moved the story forward since early 2004.
About a month ago, I started reading it again, and refrained from editing. While reading, I made lists of character names, cities, towns, castles, kingdoms, etc. Anything that had a name went on a list.
I finished reading a couple weeks ago and I’m moving the story forward again. I now have 525 pages down. I’m still not as connected to the story as I was fifteen years ago, but having the lists of names helps.
I had crude maps of the kingdoms, but at some point I threw them away. I just bought this big sketch pad. I’m going to try redrawing the maps from memory, so I can keep track of what’s what and where.
I had also written several spinoff short stories and novellas that were connected to this novel. But I threw those away too. Some of those stories had received positive feedback from editors.
I can’t believe I developed so much self-doubt and threw out all that work. I’m going to finish this novel and the entire series before I start the editing process.