I'm working from notes to add more scenes this week and also editing a bit as I go. I'm not sure what draft this is, but I'm remembering how important it is that I continue to read other writers' work as I go.
The fear component is very real, and perhaps more so once you have a complete draft. Overall the beta reads of this book indicate that it's entertaining and stronger and more engaging than the first two books in the series. I keep telling myself that as I go through and add new material and take some things out.
And, I've been reading. One of the things I returned to recently is a first novel by another indie writer. I offered to do a beta read of the novel in process (for free, no less) and wasn't taken up on my offer. I am about 1/2 way through the novel and in a chapter I read last night the characters are in a gas station where they stopped because one of them had to pee. She never does. Perhaps it's just me, but I have a problem with that--the character literally said, "I need to pee" and doesn't. Then, there's no transition between that scene and the next--we're just suddenly in a diner somewhere and the character still has yet to pee and she's flirting with a waitress.
The two scenes both have great potential to be funny and interesting, as well as to reveal things about the two main characters. They just don't get there. I know that the manuscript went through beta readers and through a supposed edit, but it seems those readers let the writer down.
Another recent read was from a small press; the book was well written overall, but it wasn't perfect. There were spots where some additional character development would be useful, and there are strings of storyline left hanging that will never be resolved (the author is no longer with us, so unless someone else picks up with these characters we'll never know what decisions are made). There are some plot holes and they are unfortunately holes that really would open up the novel.
My point here is that reading other works is good for showing me that things don't have to be perfect to be entertaining. So, that helps me keep going. On the other hand, seeing plot holes in others' work helps me in the revision stages to figure out where I need to keep developing. Thankfully, my paid reviewer also came through with some specific plot holes, too, and commented fairly heavily on the manuscript for odd ticks and patterns of wording that I can go back and fix later.
Will I make my Mardi Gras deadline? Who knows. I rather doubt it, but if I can stop being fearful of finishing revisions I will make progress a heck of a lot faster.