Today Taliesin and I were discussing our impending doom, aka how in just ten days we have to begin writing our novels. After I read a Frankenstein analogy retweeted by Jenny, we got to talking about the steps to creating a novel and came up with our own analogy: Being Michelangelo. I've never been much of a sculptor, but I know what it's like to turn a rough sketch into a finished drawing. But Taliesin mentioned chiseling out a statue and I found it fitting because, a perfect slab of marble looks pretty (the swirly mist stage where you haven't made any firm decisions and your idea looks great), then you have to make it all ugly by breaking into it (the decisions), then you start seeing a human figure but it's all wonky and ugly (the first draft), then it improves (the following drafts) and so forth until hopefully you've polished it so well you're left with your masterpiece. Even Michelangelo has to make a crappy statue before he makes a perfect statue.
This should have already been obvious to me, but for some reason imagining it out is helping me cope with my feelings of "ruining" my pristine marble slab by hitting it with those initial hammer strokes, cutting away the areas I won't need when I start the first draft of the body. It's giving me new courage.