Ha, HA! I did it!
I have faced the enemy and she is me.
I brought out my first 20 pages and ripped them to shreds. I killed clauses that were poetic because they didn't advance the story. I dropped whole sub-plots because they were preachy and not necessary.
Feeling rather smug, considering the first 20 have been read a gazillion times and I massacred it I took on the next 20.
Slash and dash, entire chapters are 86'd.
There really is something to leaving something alone for six months. In the intervening six months since I last really, truly took a good look at my baby, my novel, I decided it was rot. Unworthy. Not worth the ink it would take to print it out and fix it. Certainly not worth the effort it would take to edit it enough to actually sell it.
But see, I had to. Deadlines, you know.
And you know what? My darlings didn't need to be there. That was for my learning pleasure. And shoot, I dunno if I have it in me to fix the rest of this puppy, but heck, I feel great that I can see enough value in it that I may even talk to a few people about it at conference next month.
So in the words of someone I don't know, but quoted by Stephen King in his "On Writing," (actually I always thought it was Mr. King's statement, but I keep hearing otherwise) "Murder Your Darlings" you'll be glad you did.
And for you non-writers out there....I know I mentioned Stephen King...I'm talking about words, phrases, entire chapters of prose that sound wonderful to you, but need to visit the recycle bin--not anything living. I promise.
I don't even like to kill spiders. Ew, ew, ew.