I've been thinking the more writers read how-to books, web sites, and blogs on writing, the more confused they can become. The more it stifles their energy to sit down and write that next story.
Most writers don't fear the first draft. We know it's a draft. It's not for public consumption. But what happens between writing that first draft and finishing the book? Hoping to find a nugget of truth, we pour over blogs and web sites and books that tell us what we "need to know" about pacing, voice, character development, on and on ... until it stops us in our tracks.
Writers are artists. As a whole, the doubt and fear we battle is like walking into a swarm of hornets. We just know we're going to get bit.
What happens as a result of that fear? If you are a writer, you've felt it. You know what I'm talking about.
But here is something to consider. Even Donald Maass started somewhere. And I'll bet he'll tell you he's still learning.
You've already gathered enough knowledge to write. You know the middle of the story matters, to show and not tell, to kill your darlings and prologues and keep backstory to a minimum. So while you're in the process of creating, as you write your next story, don't read any more blogs, how-to books, or web sites that tell you how to write. STOP IT.
Stop second-guessing yourself. Just write the story. Let it pour out of your heart. Weep over the keyboard. Burn the midnight oil until you've finished the second, even the third draft. Put your soul into it. Then, my writer friend, you have something to work with. To revise. To hone. To make beautiful. Then you can submit for critique, or to a professional editor for revision. Then you can refresh yourself in a how-to book as you EDIT.
Remember, there are a ton of "experts". Intimidation is a monster. Even the most seasoned writer questions their own talent from time to time. The secret is ... get the story out of you first. Overcome the fear of writing by writing for yourself first. It's the simple truth.
Blessings to you and yours.