Goodbye is the hardest word…

Haven’t I been here before? At the finishing line? In fact – I recall blogging some months ago and beginning with the words I’VE FINISHED! But of course, that was just the first draft, the first lap around the track. But this time, I really, really, really have finished.

Well, sort of. For now, at least…

Just need to press send…

In a minute. Maybe I’ll just read it through one more time…

From about the third draft onwards, as I read through the final chapter, I’m always convinced that this is it – my book is finished, as perfect as it can be, ready to send out to the world. And then I leave it a while, and come back to it, and realize it’s not finished at all, there are still things I can do to improve and polish, words to be tweaked, sentences made shinier.

But at least three times now, I’ve celebrated reaching The End on twitter, and each time I can’t imagine making any more changes, so I send it out there – first to my fabulous agent and to the lovely readers at the RNA, and it comes back with detailed notes about areas that need developing, expanding, cutting, and so I go back and polish and tweak and make it shinier.

But this time, I’m 99% sure I really have finished.

But I really wish I hadn’t. Not because I love editing that much (although I DO love editing) – but because I hate saying goodbye. We’ve all read books we don’t want to end – because we love the characters, because we’ve spent so much time in that fictional world it’s become almost real. We’ve raced through, transfixed by every word and then slow down towards the end, stretching it out, unable to face the last page. And this is even more true in the books we write – we have lived with these characters for a year or more, spending as much time with them as our real-life families and friends; we have guided them through highs and lows and we have loved them. It’s very hard to close the door on them and send them on their way – however hard editing can get, no one really wants the end to be the end.

We want reaching the end to be the beginning.

But anyway – enough prevaricating.

It really is time to press send.

It really is time to say goodbye…


19 thoughts on “Goodbye is the hardest word…

    • Thanks Nicky – I did finally press send yesterday, so now begins the obsessive checking of the emails…
      Vanessa x

      • Bless you. Why go there? When I waited for replies, I made myself check no more than twice. Once, at lunchtime and once, in the evening. Fingers crossed and good luck!

  1. Thanks Cameron, it’s always a pleasure/pain thing when you re-read something you’ve put away for a while, isn’t it? There are always bits that you can’t believe you actually wrote – and often bits you wish you hadn’t. Well, that happens to me, anyway 🙂
    Vanessa x

    • Thanks, Chris. I was going to take a bit of time off, but I think the only answer is to start another book – otherwise I’m in danger of going back in for just one more edit…
      Vanessa x

  2. Oh my!!! This is me. Can’t let go. Just got to check onbe more time.. had to be forced to upload ebook by friend helping me. Nnnnngghh…one more quick check….. good luck. As you say. start planning the next one. Quick.

    • Hi Carol – you’ll be pleased to know I’ve moved on and bought the new notebook and pen ready to start the next!
      Vanessa x

    • Hi Sarah – I too have everything crossed and it’s making it very hard to type 🙂
      Vanessa x

    • Thanks Lizzie – and good luck to you too in your upcoming writing adventures 🙂
      Vanessa x

    • Thanks Jean – I finally managed to press send, so now it’s time to start thinking about the next one…
      Vanessa x

      • I have every faith in you. I know how much love you have put into your novel. Now it has to fly the nest! Good Luck.
        Lorraine x

  3. I know just what you mean. It’s nice when you read back an can’t remember writing it (and are impressed that you did!).
    At the moment, I’m in that awful space between books when the old characters are gone (sniff) and the new ones haven’t quite moved in yet. I miss having people running around talking to each other in my head. Um… I’ve just realised how weird that sounds. You know what I mean, right?

    Anyway. Good luck with the book.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s