I’m less than one chapter away from finishing my latest work in progress and I couldn’t be more thrilled.
At this point, I’ve been working on this book for several grueling months, and the story—the same one that thrilled me just last summer when I came up with it—has lost all appeal for me.
No joke. Every day, when I approach the blank page, my book looks to me like an old boyfriend I can’t stand anymore, or maybe my own face in the mirror: all lines and bags and age spots, and not at all the person I expect to see staring back at me.
In other words, my book now makes me shudder with dread.
No, it’s worse than that. To put it bluntly, I HATE the book I’m writing.
Don’t feel bad for me. It happens to most, if not all, writers at some point in the process.
We creatures of the pen are novelty seekers. We barely get started on one project before a shiny new idea comes along and makes the other one look little better than a gross wad of hair clumped up in the shower drain.
But if you ever hope to actually get a whole book written, and not just a series of beginnings of LOTS of books, you need to slog your way through with the old idea and keep all those shiny new ones waiting in line at the door (if only we had bouncers to help with that the way nightclubs do!).
Eventually, even the ugliest book—the one you’ve been working on for so long, you’d rather throw it in the trash than write a single other word on it—will approach completion. Word by word, sentence by sentence (perhaps even just #onesentenceaday?), you’ll get there.
And then you’ll see that proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.
That’s where I am now.
I’m one—count it: one—chapter away from being able to type “The End” on the final page of my book, and I know exactly what needs to happen in those last few pages before I can get there.
When it comes down to this point, I can barely make my hands move fast enough to get the words out because I know, as soon as I reach that finish line, I can wipe the dust of this dusty old book idea off my aching fingers and let a new idea in, past the velvet ropes at the door.
So, here’s to finishing things.
And, of course, to starting a new project immediately. I mean, how will I manage to quickly come to hate this NEW book idea if I don’t get started right away?