While I wouldn’t say I’m close to finishing my first novel (if you don’t count the one sitting in a box in the back of a dark cupboard), there is a light at the end of a not-too-long tunnel. Trying wrap up many, many months of work brings with it a whole new set of feelings and self-sabotaging behaviors (eating, getting a sudden urge to do laundry, etc.). This blog by Timothy Hallinan on Finishing Your Novel is really helping.
I’m reading a section of the article before I start work each day. Hallinan identifies the desire to just give up as a common one and knows just what to say to help you keep going.
I’m always fascinated by a writer’s process. His is to write 5 – 7 days a week for at least two hours a day, but he makes sure he writes 1000 new words at each sitting. That means he sits there, at his desk, until he reaches his number. One thousand words translates out to around four pages by my calculation. That’s a lot more than I’ve been producing a week. So, I’m ramping up and have written way more in the past couple of days than I normally would in a week (or two), so the end actually is in sight, and at this pace, should be here sooner rather than later.
The best part is how much more excited I’m feeling about my novel. I was flagging and slowing down. I was doubting my idea and my skill level. In effect, halving each step I took so I might never have finished. Is that fear of success? Or just running out of steam? Either way it wasn’t good.
This is a long, solitary journey. I can only imagine how good it must feel to finish. I still have at least one last pass to make over my manuscript once I reach the end. I’m just hoping that once the heavy lifting is done, the polishing will be quick and enjoyable!