There’s the old adage that art is never finished, only abandoned. But, for me, I think it’s more a case of “art is continually finished, until it is abandoned”.
Flash back to last year when I completed the novel draft. It was incredibly exciting. A novel I’d been working on, trying to shape in terms of structure and voice finally came together, and was there on the page. In essence, it was finished.
Except it wasn’t. I then had to go over it, rewriting bits, editing others. I gave it to alpha readers and that resulted in more changes. Then it went for professional assessment and yet more changes were required.
It’s those changes that were finished Friday, meaning that the novel is now ready to send to agents. It’s certainly finished in that sense, but if an agent does pick it up, there’s a good chance further edits will be required. If a publisher then picks it up, there will be another couple of rounds of smaller edits. There will be more and more occasions of the novel being ‘finished’.
I have a bottle of champagne in the fridge. Actually it’s just a cheap cava, but it’s as good as. It’s sitting there waiting for the novel to be finished. Yet each time, I reach another milestone, I think of future occurrences of the novel being ‘finished’ and decide to hold off until the next time I finish it.