For years, this quote hung above my desk:
- 95% of people talk about writing a book,
- 30% of people start writing a book,
- 3% finish it.
It will be one year ago next month that I started this blog. While many things have changed, one thing has not: I struggle with the habit of completion.
My second novel, Bone Girl, will be published in less than two months. It’s with my beta readers now, then it will go to my editor, Maudeen Wachsmith.
A month later, I intend to self-publish my third novel, A Year with Geno. There’s only one small problem with this grand plan: the book isn’t finished.
Here’s why. I’ve come to the parts of the book that aren’t any fun to write. Like a picky eater, I now stare down at my literary plate, and all I see are lima beans, beets and fried liver. Yech…
I drafted a calendar-style spreadsheet with all of the scenes on it. According to the spreadsheet, I have five (I just counted them) scenes left to write. That’s all. Five! Figuring they are each 1,000 words, I only have 5,000 words left to draft and then I can begin revisions. Please note: I started writing this book in 2007. I originally dreamed up the idea for A Year with Geno in 2002.
But in order to finish the book, I have to write these five scenes. And rewrite them. And polish them. I just don’t want to.
I think I know why I’m so reluctant to write these remaining sections. Too much depends on them. I want A Year with Geno to give the readers a taste, a whiff of life in Alaska, and I don’t know that I’ve done that in the preceding 63,000 words. Yep. 63K. This is the longest book I’ve written.
Also, I have so many doubts: is the romance between the two main characters plausible? Did I create enough sexual tension to keep readers turning pages? Did I show how important the main character’s friends are to her? Ugh! So many questions and so few certainties.
Except this one: if I want the life I dream about – writing full-time – I need to finish this book. No excuses. No buts, maybes or should-ofs. Finish the book. It’s just that simple. And that difficult.
Hands and arms inside the cart, please. Next: why I am choosing to self-publish.