You’ve heard it a hundred times before, and yes you know that you need to finish the novel, but it’s not like you don’t know how it ends, or haven’t written the actual end. You just have some work to be done, and in time it will be done.
I used to think like that as well. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it’s wrong to take the time to get a novel right. There’s nothing wrong with a novel being “in-progress”.
But what amazed me last week when I announced that the draft of the novel that was complete, was the sheer amount of people who said they wished they could complete their’s.
Now, I’m sure in time, they’ll get there. The people in my immediate circle are quite determined people, some of whom are ahead of me on this writing journey, some who are behind. It’s not a race. But what struck me was that completing a draft of the novel is a similar hurdle to the difference between those who say “I’d like to write a book” and those who say “I am writing a book”.
Now, I suspect I have another hurdle in front of me, the one that separates the “have completed a draft” and “have a polished completed manuscript”. And there’s possibly further hurdles after that. It’s all about progressing to the next stage.
But from this side of the hurdle, I can see why completing the draft is now so important. With so much contradictory writing advice out there, it’s so difficult to find the ones that really apply. But as simple and eye-rolling as “finish the novel” is, I actually think there’s more to it than the obvious.