I'm starting to be able to track which part of the writing process I'm in by how I feel about it. I can almost feel when I'm ready to advance to the next stage (writing on paper to making notecards to writing the script, etc.). The ups and downs are becoming more familiar to me. This is positive in a way or two and scary in a whole lot more.
First of all, the positive. I think this means I'm becoming more accustomed to writing. Not bad for someone who wasn't sure about a year ago that he'd ever write again. That's the other rollercoaster of it all, I suppose. Never knowing if you're actually going to feel like writing is an odd sensation. Firefighters don't have that kind of choice. Even when they don't want to run into buildings and save lives, I'd hope they do anyway. Hopefully I can be the same way about writing.
The scary part is, it could mean that I'm always going to freak out about five notecards in. That'll always be one point where I think I have enough of a story for those five notecards but not enough for a whole story and I'll spend a day or two thrashing about until I get enough to fill the little table I use to plot out a story.
It could also mean that act two is always going to be a slog when it comes to the end. And that I'm always going to feel like the connection between moments in my script isn't strong enough (although that could just be a sign of bad writing, for all I know).
I'm acutely aware that I'm too self-aware to be a writer in the long run for I'll always analyze and then analyze my analysis, but I can't help but think that it's my self-awareness that allows me to be a writer. That's literary, I think. A character's fatal flaw being his saving grace at the same time. If it were a Yellowcard song, it'd be "Gifts and Curses" from one of the Spider-Man soundtracks.
I read a screenwriting book once that said once you're a writer for a while, you get used to the grooves of plotting a story. When I read it, I thought it meant the "what's next" would come easier, but maybe that's not what Blake Snyder meant when he said it. Because, for me, the "what's next" is still as open to any direction possible. It's the groove of writing it that feels worn in and familiar. I know what I'll feel as I put characters through the paces of what they need to feel to become who they need to be.
And as scary as it is to know some parts are always going to be hard, we know that's how a character grows. I face my hardships with an irrevocable act. I'm a writer and I will write again.