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Tuesday, 19 March 2013

In the very still space after completion (of a book)

They're running a thing on TV just now called 'What Do Artists Do All Day?' Or something like that.

I've been having guilty feelings about precisely that. All day. I have done... absolutely nothing, apart from making some bread this morning.

I completed my book yesterday. Or think I did, You're never quite certain, of course; but it definitely felt as though I'd finally got there. 13 chapters, 281 pages, 77,745 words, a pithy Foreword which, with luck and a following wind, will suggest the serious themes that underlie an otherwise entertaining text, and a final sentence containing but three words, three words that sound very much like a nail being hammered into a piece of wood, fixing it for good.

It's an odd feeling, completion. I've been writing this for several months, in between other projects. Parts of it, however,  date back a long, long way. Ten or fifteen years in the case of some of the chapters, each of which deals with a different part of my working life, going back to 1964. So you might say that I've lived with the material for some time. And now, if I really have finished, I must be through with it. That's the painful bit. The leave-taking.

Still, there are other projects to get stuck into. Next week or the week after I'll be starting to work on Mike Pannett's Yorkshire. Beyond that a book about his childhood, and after that I hope to be thinking about my stories from seventeen western states.

Who knows, if Spring arrives, I might even start to get out and about once more....

1 comment:

  1. Well done that man. I'm about a third of the way through my current novel and am just beginning to wonder why I started. Odd the way it mirrors back at different stages.


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