Tying up the loose ends

Writing a book is a bit like being a parent.

I don’t mean in some deep way about ‘giving birth’ to my ideas, or that the book is ‘my baby’. It’s more that although being a parent is a wonderful and profound experience, its also bloody hard work.

At each stage with my kids there have been really tough moments. I remember bringing my first daughter home and feeling the absolute weight of responsibility. Here was this little helpless thing and I HAD TO KEEP HER ALIVE! It was terrifying. I remember thinking “If we just get through this bit…”.

The problem is I have thought that at every stage. Toilet training (that was fun – not!), nursery school, school, swimming lessons, secondary school. Each time I think the next stage will be easier, and it’s not, just different. Some things do get easier, as a family we are no longer completely obsessed with toilets (although old habits die hard!), but others get harder (fallouts with friends, chemistry homework, BOYFRIENDS).

And that is what I’m finding about writing a book. Every time I get stuck I think, “If I just get through this bit…”. I thought the end would be easy, but here I am, nearly finished charter 31 of my planned 30 chapters and I’m still tying up the loose ends. It’s a real dilemma, don’t want it to seem rushed, but I don’t want to drag it out either. I don’t want it to be too neat an ending, but I don’t want it to loose either.

And of course there’s the sequel (I imagine my wife’s raised eyebrows at this point!).

Then there’s the nagging suspicion that finishing the book will just be the start of the real hard work.

Wish me luck!


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