A piece of string

I’m trying to finish my novel. By which I more specifically mean I’m trying to find the point where I say, ‘It’s finished.’

It’s taken me a long time, hasn’t it? Six years, nearly seven, since my first was published and not much done between then and now. I need to finish writing something sometime soon. Something that gets published. Something that people read. Otherwise I’m not really a writer anymore, more someone who has written.

I’ve done a lot of things to try to make sure this manuscript gets finished. I stayed in Abu Dhabi for two weeks at Christmas time while the mister and the lads went back to Australia. I got a lot done then, but I didn’t get it finished. I get up at 4.30 a couple of mornings each week to squeeze some time in before I go to work. I get a lot done that way too, but it doesn’t get it finished.

I keep thinking, ‘Two weeks. If I give it two good weeks I will get it finished.’ And I do that and then I realise that there are two more weeks to get it to the next stage and the next and then the next. I know the onion analogy gets a lot of airplay when people are talking about writing. But it’s not peeling an onion, it’s making one, like adding the layers one by one.

This time I think there really are only two more weeks. The framework is strong now and I can’t move any of it. I look through this draft now and I see the places where I need to put in more of this sub-plot, make that storyline stronger, strengthen this paragraph with a bit of detail.

It’s closer than it’s ever been. Two more weeks and it will be there.

But I remember back when the mister and I still thought that we would finish the boat we had started building. ‘Tell everyone six months,’ our boatbuilding teacher told us. ‘It’s close and far away at the same time.’

I wonder what tricks that piece of advice is playing with my subconscious because all my two weeks turn into another six months. And I need to finish. If I keep doing this two weeks thing my thoughts will start getting stale. I’ll never start anything new. And this will never get published.

So I’m drawing a line. I’m going to do a proofread, then I’m sending it off to my agent. It’s time for the next stage to begin.

7 thoughts on “A piece of string”

  1. Eeek – fat fingers on tablet, hit post comment too soon.

    Anyway, this is really great news! Good luck and may the proofreading go seamlessly!

    Also, I’m pretty intrigued by this boat.


  2. So lovely to see you appear again. Much good luck to you! I’m thrilled you will be having a new novel… and feel for you dealing with bringing it to a close — or at least to the point of presenting it to the world! Fingers crossed for two weeks….!

  3. Yay! Good for you, throwing yourself across the finishing line. Look forward to reading it.

    (This post made me feel better about not having another book in the pipeline, three years after publication.)

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