Today was meant to be the day.
My book, my (untitled) work-in-progress, my current obsession, still isn’t done.
No triumphant typing of THE END, no running around the house in my trakky daks with my arms in the air squeeing like a banshee, only to screech even harder and retreat to my office in horror as I clock the poor, neglected mess that is my house. No cracking a bottle of fizz. No cooking of celebratory naughty food.
Just my bum back in my chair and my fingers on the keyboard.
I don’t know what it’s like for other authors, but when I get near the end of a work-in-progress I’m usually pounding the keys like there’s no tomorrow. By this point the story that I’ve dedicated half a year to, perhaps more, just wants to burst out. And out it usually comes in a great deluge of emotion and (very often) bawling on my part, because for the last however many thousands of words my characters have been tearing their hearts apart and now, NOW, there’s a chance it could be all right. Except then their HORRIBLE author throws them a googly and it all goes wrong, and unless they find their inner strengths and hearts, all will be lost.
Writing this bit—the black moment and denouement—is emotional and wonderful and the best fun ever, and I’m currently smack in the middle of it when I’d expected to be at the end.
As I’m (still!) learning, every book is its own beast, and this work-in-progress is no different.
This book is slow.
It started out that way too, defying every effort, every trick I could conjure up to speed it along only to ignore me totally and continue doing its snail thing. Now it’s ending exactly the way it started. Perhaps I should have anticipated that, but I didn’t.
I admit that I’m frustrated. I’m so desperate for these two gorgeous characters to achieve their happy ever after it’s killing me, but I’m also filled with joy because being with these two is a genuine delight. I know they’re fictional, I know they’re products of my imagination, but sharing their lives, their love, feels like a privilege.
This book is also proving to be long. I’ve just written a chapter 40. I have never written a chapter 40. Never. Not even before I was published. Of course, this might not be the case with the final book—editing changes things, sometimes dramatically—but I’m loving the novelty. More importantly, it works.
In fact, everything seems to work with this book. I love it, really love it. I’m CRAZY about it.
So I don’t care if it takes me another week, two weeks, or even a month to finish (although I bloody hope not or my Christmas novella will be seriously at risk). The pleasure with this one is in the journey. And it’s a journey I’m savouring.
Long may that be the case with all I write, whether it be a blog post, a tweet or a novel, because pleasure and passion matter.
If I don’t feel them when I’m writing, how can I expect you to?