Saturday, February 16, 2013

On Finishing a Book

"Focus on the journey, not the destination.  Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it." - Greg Anderson

"Do not plan for ventures before finishing what's at hand." - Euripides

You know, I've lived by Anderson's quote above.  I love it.  Don't focus on the ending, he says, because doing so makes you forget about the joy of the journey.  Instead, enjoy the steps that lead along the way to the end.

But now?  I'm thinking the quote applies to some journeys but not all.  Take, for instance, a novel.  Sure, there's a certain amount of joy in writing scene after scene, and then in revising each scene for clarity and continuity.  There's a certain amount of joy, too, in going through what the beta readers said about the work, incorporating their suggestions as best you can.  There's even a certain amount of masochistic joy in correcting through a redlined manuscript, working to not feel too small when the editor found way more stuff than you thought they could have.

But in authoring a novel, the destination is the best part.

There's no feeling quite like finishing a novel, saving the file under the name "final" and moving on to consider how the cover will look.  That is what makes all the steps along the way worth it, not the other way around.  I do, in fact, enjoy writing, but I love finishing.

And now, having said, that, it's time to plan for other ventures.  Well, that, and get this work up for everyone to read.  Will post another excerpt tomorrow.


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