I don't know about other authors, but for me, the first thousand words of a new book are by far the hardest. Hard enough that I sometimes find myself procrastinating, avoiding the unpleasant effort of starting my next tale - even when I have a deadline.
It's not just the problem of figuring out a good "hook" line, to pull readers in right away. That's tough, I agree, but sometimes I already have a first line and yet I still dither and dally, looking for excuses or other tasks so I can put off the moment when I open that blank document and begin to type.
Very occasionally, I'll be hit with sudden inspiration and be able to sit down to capture it before it evaporates. More normally, my ideas come when I'm committed to other, non-writing activities. I've learned to jot down the basics in my notebook (or they'll be gone forever) but it might be days or even weeks before I have the opportunity to write that first sentence.
So I'm patting myself on the back, because I just wrote the initial two thousand words of a brand new paranormal novella, entitled Rough Weather. I've been planning to write this book for more than six months. Somehow there was always something more urgent. Well, last weekend that story finally made it to the top of my to-do list. I had to force myself to start the book, even though I really haven't worked out all the details of the plot. I have my characters and the main conflict - it's time to let it rip!
Now I have to keep up the momentum. I find that relatively easy, once I can open a manuscript and see that I actually have something there!
If you're reading this, and you're an author yourself, I'd love to know whether your experience jibes with mine. I know some authors who dive in, but get hung up in the middle of a tale. Other people have trouble with endings. What about you?