Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Turning The Page
I have done all these things, and more. Sentences that ran on no longer do. Split infinitives are re-united; oxymorons de-oxymized; colons and semi-colons questioned and found wanting. I guillotined clichés, defenestrated truisms and roasted chestnuts on a bonfire. I have, in fact, waged a war on my manuscript and left inky bloodstains on every page. Now I wonder why I can’t administer the coup de grace. There are 12 pages left for me to go over, and every instinct whispers, “walk away; avoid the siren call.”
My reticence is partly because a book becomes such an intimate friend—or enemy—that it’s difficult to think of living without it. And what will I do with my time now that this demanding and insolent creature has a life of its own? The bottom line is, it doesn’t need me any more and this is hard to accept… I always get post-partum depression when I finish writing something lengthy, be it a novel or a major non-fiction article.
Winston Churchill once said that “writing a book is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.”
Damn, I hate it when a Brit is right.