I have finished my shitty YA werewolf novel.
I finished it last Thursday, and I did it by copy-pasting the ending that I knew I wanted into the document of the chapter I was working on, the last chapter I had yet to write. It was about as climactic and satisfying as it sounds.
I took way too long with this book.
And the thing is, while I’ve finished it, it doesn’t feel done. It feels patched-over, covered-up. Because it is.
But I just can’t be fucked. It took too long, it veered way off-course, and I honestly got what I wanted to get out of it in Nanowrimo 2015 – over a year ago. It was a fun little writing exercise that I dragged out for too long, and now I’ve finished without finishing and it feels like absolutely nothing.
Then again, it’s felt like nothing since probably Nanowrimo 2015. It’s just been one goal that I’ve cornered myself into reaching after another; and hey, I got it done. It doesn’t feel like I got it done “properly”, because I didn’t, but it is done.
It’s done because I already fucking hate writing it and if I’m being honest there are at least another couple chapters that need to be written to make the story and world feel coherent and I CAN’T BE FUCKED ANYMORE. I have already forced myself to write more of this story than I wanted to; I have already persevered with this unfulfilling, unrewarding project long past the point of any semblance of enjoyment, and I fucking finished it. I didn’t give up; I accepted the fact that I had given up a long time ago, when it was fucking time to give up, and this is just me finally actually committing to that decision.
And now it’s done.
But fuck it, I might still work on it once I work out what the other shit I need to write actually is. I have disjointed scenes and ideas at the moment; I need chapters before I do any more work on it. And stopping now might be the kick-start I need to push it over the “proper” finish-line, to make it feel complete and done and finished in a way that feels right. You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone and all that. Kind of. It might apply here.
I don’t care.
And even if I might care later, I don’t care now. It’s done. I’m done. I feel disappointed and uninspired and it’s basically like this book doesn’t even exist to me right now. I had hoped for a sense of satisfaction upon finishing it, but I don’t feel one. Just in case you missed that part.
I want the sense of accomplishment that only comes from a solid narrative, and that’s the real issue here. I want this to feel like the end of a story for me. But life isn’t a story, as I keep saying to myself because it sounded smart the first time and I have no imagination, and in that sense it is poetic justice that this project feels so unfinished. I feel unfinished. And I guess that’s always going to be the case, because there’s no story going on here; there is nothing to finish. Life goes on, whether you like it or not.
However – that also happened for my MA. I’m pretty sure it also happened for the first draft of Tallulah. In fact I’m pretty sure I got to exactly this point during the first draft of Tallulah: it felt like nothing. Only when I went back to look it over again did I start to feel some sense of a shift, a transition from one part in the process to another.
And regardless of what I do or don’t feel right now, however “properly” it feels I have or have not performed this task – I finished another fucking book.
I wrote a goddamn book and a goddamn MA in under 2 years.
Even if I can’t feel the kind of narrative satisfaction that I want to right now – or ever – that’s something worth acknowledging. I did some fucking work over the past 2 years.
And you know what I want to do, now that I’ve gotten all of this off my chest?
Go back and finally finish Tallulah. Because I recognise now that it will never feel done, but that doesn’t mean it will never get done. It’s just a matter of doing it.