I am afraid.
I wake up with a tight feeling in my chest. I can see the finish line. I spend the day wondering if people will like what I’ve written. Three more chapters and it’s done. I finished the latest chapter in just about three weeks. It’s around 35 pages. And I only sat down to write a child’s handful of times. This is the end. The slide just got fast, and any minute my feet will hit the ground.
I know exactly what happens next.
I know everything that happens until the end. I just have to write it out, and let it do it’s thing. the fuse is lit. The diamond cave is three walls away.
And I am afraid. Deep down.
The familiar, sickening fear of life between projects. I have spent the last year and a half pushing a great big stone, blindly up a staircase. I don’t know what i’ll do when it’s done. I’ve gotten so good at pushing. I don’t think I’ll know how to rest. I fear the deep hum of the silence around me. The loss of the sound of clacking keys. I fear my mind will unravel, if it not kept busy at the loom.
I am blissfully, magnanimously, happy. I have been writing a book for a year and a half. And I didn’t stop. And it’s almost done. How like a god.
The other night I read a bit from the first chapter. It was horrible. Which made me happy. I thought it was good when I wrote it. But it’s been–what, 18 months since I started? And now I see every terrible mistake. It means I’m getting better. That this novel can get better. That no matter what I write, I can go back and rewrite. Water into wine. I wonder how often I have (or will…) forget that in my life; that I can always make everything better.
Do you learn this much on every book? Or just the second?
It’s a straight shot to the end. keep forgetting it’s not a race. If I stop waiting for a gunshot, I can probably just prance right up to it. The roar of the crowd is just my footsteps. But that’s perfectly wonderful.