I know the signs. Recently, two friends have asked me to cast an eye over work that was soon to head into its next public stage. They wanted one more person to read it. They wanted a little more time. Work that’s almost done can make us anxious or bored or some hideous combination. Yesterday I talked with a friend who mentioned another writer who seemed never to quite finish things. “It’s hard,” I said. “When you think everything on your computer is fairly worthless can be a sign that you’re near the end.”
Sometimes I can sound like I’m smart. But only minutes later, I said, “My book about writing is about 95% done. Um, have I told you that before?”
My friend laughed.
Peter also had recently asked about my book, while I’d been caught in the pleasure of a new project, and I was reminded to finish what I’d set aside. It’s been going well, and I’ve even make new discoveries in old material, but there’s a resistance that shows up as self doubt or a general wiggliness and desire to work on something brand new, which seems so much more attractive. I’ve managed to keep at my editing until noon, and now plan to do a few errands and return to the work over an iced tea, hoping a different view turns around my mood. And if I run into anyone, I’ll tell them I’m 96% of the way through. I’m still taking some notes about my new book, but, while I dread as much as yearn to type, “The End,” I’m heading straight toward that day.