Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Finishing fears

I am two book reviews short for April and May but if I leave updating the blog until I have scanned the covers and written the reviews, then I fear it will get very dusty around here, and that is no good as I now have 150 lovely folk who have chosen to make my day and click the ‘follow’ button! Woohoo - welcome, friends! The tea is poured and Twirl chocolate bars are on me, in a non-kinky way, you understand. And while there is a happy rustle of wrappers, I shall make a mental note to add the two missing book reviews to June’s book worm post (which will probably make an appearance on this blog in August). Time management, you see. I am having a problem with it of late.

My blog post of a couple of weeks ago was full of joy that I had managed to finish the majority of redrafting and was now on the grand read through, but since then the world has clicked on a few gears and suddenly I have been racing along trying to keep up. Those metaphorical plates have been spinning (and crashing) recently, leaving me feeling rather wrecked. Of course it could have been to do with the free bar at a recent party... All I am saying about that night is being woken by the guard on the last tube home is never a good look. Oh dear. Hic.

It has felt harder recently to click my head into writing mode. I think this is down to the closer I come to the end, the harder I feel it is to let go. This story has been a long term project for me (five years so far) and I guess, silly though it sounds, I am loathe to send it away to seek its fortune. Actually is loathe the right word? Terrified, perhaps? I know potential rejection of the story is not potential rejection of me as a person, but it feels very hard to separate at times.

I have to get my head over this stage and embrace the next – how do you feel towards the end of a project / short story / novel? Are there any techniques you adopt to get over this bit? I do try and focus on the positives and am deep down excited to finish, but also am annoyingly reluctant!


Stina Lindenblatt said...

I usually feel excited at the end of a project, mainly because it means the opportunity to work on something new. Okay, casting my baby off into the world of rejection isn't much fun, but it's something you have to do. Then you move on.

Aubrie said...

I feel excited and impatient! Also, a little apprehensive about if anyone will like it.

Don't worry about the reviews! I don't even keep a schedule for mine, I just post them whenever I finish reading the book!

Old Kitty said...

First CONGRATULATIONS on nearing the end of what is hopefully a last draft of your novel!! Wow!

Second, yay!! 150 followers and growing - wonderful!

Third - LOL!! but glad you had a brilliant free bar tme and glad you got home ok!

Fourth - good luck with sending your baby into the world of publishing!!!

Gosh I remember the last writing assignment I sent off to my tutor. I was staring at it on the screen thinking "I can't physically and mentally change a word of it any more - I've redrafted a million times and re-read it and I know it's done - but, but, but!" And I just shut my eyes and clicked send. LOL! The waiting for the result is the worst of all though..

Take care and GOOD LUCK!

Karen Gowen said...

I'm glad you've been celebrating the accomplishment of finishing your project! My problem has always been to send things out too soon, before they're really truly done. Then they come back and I have to revise & improve, because after 6-8 weeks, when you take another look at a ms., the problems you didn't notice before now jump out at you. So if you're not sure, just sit on it awhile, go back & revise then send it out.

Eliza said...

You must be so excited, but I can also imagine the terror too! Think positive, and even if it gets rejected it wont be because its bad, just not what they were looking for at the time - good luck :-)

Erica Mitchell-Spickard said...

I haven't been in that position yet. I am still very much a work in progress, but I know a few people who once they are done get suddenly hesitant to send out their work. I wish I had a better answer, but good luck! Let er' fly =D Just one more part of the process to live and learn.

Jen Chandler said...

Hi Jayne! Thanks for following my blog :)

I feel a little reluctant to ever end the editing of my stories. I feel they are never quite done. However, I've learned that you've just got to send them out anyway. Get them as close to "perfect" as YOU can, and send them on their way! It's scary (very scary) but that's how we grow.

Happy Tuesday,

Jarmara Falconer said...

Good luck with your book.

Christine said...

I only have experience of short stories but I can imagine that the fear is so much greater with a big project like a novel.

I revise and edit and check and pick and play cat and mouse with every word until I can do no more, then send the story winging on its way.

One advantage of short stories: plenty of opportunities for rejection, so you get used to it!

Talli Roland said...

I always find it hard to wrap things up towards the end of a book. It's hard to let it into the world and to say 'I'm done'. Good luck Jayne!

Happy Frog and I said...

This is all so exciting! I have always wanted to write, but the nearest I have come is my blog, not proper stuff like your good self!

Congratulations on your 151 followers at the time of writing. :-)

Alexandra Crocodile said...

Oh, poor you! With the two I've finished, I've only felt immense joy - but I've never worked on anything for 5 years! Gosh, that's a long time! I hope it reaches the right hands when you decide to send it off:)

Vatche said...

Congratulations on your 150+ followers.

As for answering your question about how I feel at the end of writing project of mine, I always feel that bittersweet moment. I'm glad it's done and all, but it's like I'm leaving a good friend behind.

And for any techniques to get over that bittersweet moment...hmmm...maybe just flip through all those pages I wrote and look at them one last time before putting them in a cabinet for six months until revision.

Cool post, write on!

Janet O'Kane said...

I’m way behind you as I’m just coming to the end of my first draft, but I recognise how you’re feeling. One of the mind games I’ve developed is, while still concentrating on the task in hand, to look forward also and spend a bit of time on what completing that task will enable me to do next.
So, whilst writing my final chapter I’m also working on my pitch for the entire novel to present at the Harrogate Crime Writing Festival in July. I’ve signed up for the event’s ‘Dragon’s Pen’, which offers 2 minutes to attract the interest of 4 agents/publishers. I find the prospect terrifying, but it’s keeping me focused.
You deserve a huge pat on the back for getting this far – chocolate is called for, I think. Lots of luck for the next stage!

j manchester said...

The only way for me through the drama of ending, waiting, REJECTION, starting over, rinse, repeat...
is to remember that writing is practice. One of those old time writers (Balzac?) when he finished a book didn't even take off the rest of the day. Just started the next.
BTW, as I emailed you, an excerpt of my memoir was finally PUBLISHED in Salon.com. (No money.) Within days of that rush I have received two agent REJECTIONS of the whole book. A roller coaster, and I'm starting to accept that after 6 years of working on the book, 7 drafts, 3 editors, I will probably have to write it again from scratch.

Jayne said...

Hi Stina – very true! And yes, I am excited. I think this post I felt a bit of despair as my real-life work was very busy and I wasn’t able to create any more time for my writing.


Hi Aubrie. Oh yes – excited, impatient and definitely apprehensive! And thanks!


Hi Old Kitty. Thank you for your always wonderful comments! And that is exactly how I feel – by the time I get to the end of this I will so be shutting my eyes and dropping it in the post!


Hi Karen. That is my problem in a nut-shell, hence all the deliberations this time. Thanks for the advice – much appreciated!


Hi Eliza. Yup – excited… and terror-stricken! Thank you for your advice – very true, and I will try to keep that in mind. Eek!


Hi Erica. Love it – let ‘er fly! I shall be thinking of that when I finally send it off. Thank you!

Jayne said...

Hi Jen. Very wise words – thank you! I guess it is like an artist knowing when to stop painting – the answer of course is when it feels right.


Hi Jamara – thank you!


Hi Christine. I wish I could write short stories – mine always tend to blow up along the way into huge time-gobbling ideas. But that revision process sounds awfully familiar – picking at every word – but yes, it is recognising that I can do no more, that’s when it is ready. Thank you!


Hi Talli. Thanks for the good luck wishes. Yes, very hard to say those words, but I can see now that it is exciting too. :)


Hi Happy Frog! I’ve come to realise that any form of writing makes a writer – so take heart that you are one already. And thank you!


Hi Alex. Immense joy – oh that would be marvellous! And me too, oh yes, me too!

Hi Vatche. Very true – bittersweet is a good description. And I am impressed you manage to leave things for a six months cooling off period. It is a very good idea to do that, but I find it impossible to leave for longer than a week!

Jayne said...

Hi Janet. How exciting though – nearing the end of your first draft! Congratulations to you! And I am so impressed that you will be pitching your novel at the festival – two minutes – gosh, I can hear the adrenalin pumping right now. Great opportunity though, and kudos to you for taking it in both hands. Good luck – let me know how it goes!


Hi John. Ha – rinse and repeat – oh yes, I know that wash cycle well. I am so inspired by writers like the one you mentioned there, who just starts the next as soon as he is done. Certainly writing is a compulsion. Glad to hear your memoir extract was published, sorry to hear about the rejections. Keep plugging at it!