Finished

Posted on 11/07/2011 by

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I finished the book.

Every time I say this to someone they look at me, kind of perplexed, and say something like, “You finish books all the time…” With their expression saying, Why is this suddenly news? And I say, “No, the one I’m writing.” And they say, “Oh.” But they don’t look much less perplexed.

Perhaps they all thought that when I said I was a writer I was just being funny.

Which is interesting. I mean, these are people who’ve listening to me raving at length about people who don’t exist, seen me disengage mid-sentence to go write something down, had me steal the pen from their hand, and the hand itself if there was no other available writing surface, observed me beating my head against a wall or staring at the ceiling with every evidence of fascination… in other words, they’ve witnessed some of the many and varied versions of insanity known as being a writer. And at that point you either guess artist of some kind or mad as a hatter. Perhaps the latter just seems more likely…

Or maybe they just thought finished would look different. I mean, I didn’t jump up and down or yell or anything. When I submitted my doctoral thesis I made a bunch of them drive a rather long way for some very excellent pizza, dyed my hair blue and then had a nap. For a week. This time I just went into the kitchen to get a glass of juice. And then I stopped working. Briefly.

Because it’s different. Because this time finished isn’t done. It’s just the beginning of a new stage — the try-to-talk-someone-into-publishing-it stage. Which honestly seems like the least pleasant part of being a writer.

And resigned as I am to the knowledge that publication is likely to be preceded by rejection and followed by the need to further edit the book, I don’t contemplate it with excitement. Hence the lack of jumping, giggling and general glee.

But I had some juice, and I took a break. And then I started thinking about the next thing.