The great thing about starting a new book is a similar feeling to what it must be like to go and relive your teenage years with the knowledge you have gained since.
You know all the things to avoid and plan for the second time around, and where you can just hit the accelerator and go hard in that direction.
This time, I thoroughly planned out the story and the plot before I started. It is not as romantic as just sitting at the keyboard and going where inspiration takes you, but I did it that way for eleven years on my first novel, and I am pretty much all burned out on that, and this way helps to keep me focused and the logic cohesive.
Where I am really trying to express my creativity is in honing my style and telling the story that I want to tell.
The biggest mistake I made the first time around is that I started to care too much about what other people thought, which made me make some questionable choices at times. I am more or less happy with the result, but I don't want to keep going back to that same novel over and over again.
This time around, I am making my choices more confidently, and I am not going to let myself second-guess them more than a reasonable amount, which is something that I have learned to identify along the way (I hope).
Or maybe I am more of a work in progress. Either way, I am looking forward, and not looking back too often, and hopefully never losing sight of my goal.