Any writers reading this are probably snorting back laughter. Well, no, it isn't finished. It will take me probably half a year of editing and rewriting, resting and attacking again, before I can consider the book finished. And of course my inner philosophy major is asking whether a creative work can ever really be finished when the potential for different character arcs and repaired comma splices will always exist.
But I have written the last paragraph. I have wrapped up all the ends. It's over.
I don't actually remember when I first had the idea for this book. It might even have been before I moved back to Maryland in 2005. But I wrote the first 25,000 words or so in 2007. That was four years ago. The amount of time I've actually spent putting words on the page probably amounts to less than six months all told (a great deal less, probably), but I'm greatly accustomed to thinking of this book as an albatross - as something I don't know how to finish, and which has sat unfinished for so long that I despair of it. But now it's done. It's really done. I can't wrap my mind around it.
It looks at this time like I won't have anything to do with my day, so I'm trying to figure out what I should do. There's a story that I wrote enough days ago (and with enough Greenland words between then and now) that it might be ripe for revision. There's laundry, and e-mails, and administrative junk that I could do. Or I could go back to what I wrote in Greenland for the last week or so, while it's still malleable, and reshape it. I think I have to come at the big stuff fresh - did I really need all sixteen of those subplots in the last forty pages? - but the little stuff, the way things are worded and the Luquenora words I need to invent, I could get on that.
Conversely, I'm also tempted to do absolutely nothing relating to words (...after I'm finished writing this post) at all today. Maybe watch TV instead. I've put down about 20,000 words in the last week, not counting the blog or my non-creative endeavors. I could, maybe, take a break. Step awaaaay from the laptop.
But that's not really me. I'm not a compulsive writer, certainly, but I couldn't even wait until lunchtime to open up this window and plunk down my thoughts about the insane amount of writing I did yesterday.
I think I'll take the middle way, and just read. I'm in the middle of a terrific book by Joan Aiken. And if I happen to doze off, so much the better; I'm going to a midnight show tonight of...uh...a Bergman film (certainly not this, I don't know what you're talking about), and I would like to not be insanely tired tomorrow.
Champagne and expensive cheeseburgers on Friday. To celebrate. When I finally believe that I'm finished, I'll be so relieved that I won't even want to start my next book.