Thursday, November 18, 2010

The End

I’m about six pages and a few more read throughs from being done with my book. Really, I can’t believe it. When I decided to go ahead and write the book on spec I was jazzed with energy. Yes, I was taking a risk. Four months out of my writing life spent on a book - that let’s face it has a very minor chance of getting published - is a big deal for me. Oh and that’s not negativity about my chances – that’s publishing fact.

But when my agent said - I really think you need to finish the book if we’re going to have a chance at selling it – I thought this is great. I’ll get to do it. I’ll get to see the finished product. Sometimes it can be frustrating when you have this great idea, you write the synopsis and first three chapters, you just start to get involved with the characters and then… nothing. No one likes the idea, or can sell the idea or whatever. You never really get to know how it might have turned out. Would it have matched the vision in you had in your head when you started?

So in looking at the bright side of things – I thought lucky me. I will get to find out what happens to these characters. I will test myself and see if I can execute this somewhat complicated story. I will push myself and try to grow as a writer…

And then about sixty-percent of the way through, I thought… this sucks! I’m never going to finish. I have no idea if this is any good. I am spending months working on this when it probably won’t sell (again fact – most books don’t sell). I could be doing proposals for my editor who I stand a much better chance of selling to, but OH NO I had to write historicals!

What was I thinking?

I forgot it really does take about four to five months to write a book. I think I can always do it in three. I forgot when I’m getting up early to work on the book, and then I spend the day at my computer at work that I get this horrible pinched nervey thing going on in my neck which requires PT therapy to work it out. I forgot that when I am in full blown book mode, I tend not to exercise which I need.
But I just kept putting out the pages. Telling the story. And finally it’s here. The end. I know it’s not over. I’m hoping for feedback to fix and correct the things I got wrong. I’m hoping too for some time away from it so I can go back to it with a fresh eye. But the labor, the real hard work, is done.

People ask me how many books I’ve written. I say thirteen – because that’s how many I’ve published and that’s all they really care about. I just sat down and counted them out. I’ve written (complete books beginning to end) twenty-four books.
It never gets easier, but it always feels the same when I type those words at the bottom of the page… The End.

So freaking good.

5 comments:

Molly O'Keefe said...

CONGRATS!!! There is not a feeling more ripe with conflicted emotions than being a stone's throw to the end of a book. I can not wait to read this book!

Maureen McGowan said...

Huge congrats on getting to the end, Steph!!

Writing a book on spec is so scary and takes such a huge leap of faith, and yet I keep doing it over and over hoping the next one will be THE one.

Sinead M said...

Steph, that's huge. Well done. No matter how many you write, finishing a book requires celebration.
I am also excited to read this. Can't wait.

Eileen said...

Yay! Yippee! It's such a good feeling to get all those horses back into the barn. It must feel exceptionally good on such a brave project.

The characters that nag at me the most are the ones from proposals that no one wanted. I would love to see what would happen to them and how they would work things out.

Stephanie Doyle said...

Conflicted emotions. Absolutely. I'm a little happy, a little sad (I always cry at the end... isn't that lame? Just like Joan Wilder in Romancing the Stone.)

Relieved. Nervous. Anxious. It's truly crazy.

As a persent (both book end/ 40th coming up) I finally bought the Kindle.

Can I say - LOVE IT. I don't think it really dawned on me but it's like walking around with a bookstore in my pocket. Really cool!

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