I've been writing my second book for more than a year. Which is fairly slow, although I have been editing and refining the first book along the way.
I was happy with the second book - I thought I'd progressed as a writer, with an interesting plot and decent characters. I'd done my research homework, but not become hung up on the details, and about two months ago, I was approaching the end of the book. I had five chapters (ish) to go, and I was beginning to say to friends and partner that I had almost finished.
And then, displacement activity began to creep in. Instead of powering through and completing what's known as the 'sh*tty first draft', I began looking at where it might fit in terms of Amazon category. I began thinking about covers. I was on Twitter (pernicious activity!) I began writing posts for the website. I began worrying about the website.
Anything, it seemed, other than finish the bloody book.
And then, talking to my partner, who was starting to look askance at me, questioning where the first draft manuscript was, I realised what was going on. I'd spent so much time on the book, poured heart and soul into it and now I was approaching the end, I'd have to work out if indeed, it had been worth the effort.
Let's face it, if you're still writing, no-one can judge the product, because it's not finished. It's not public. Finishing, and then beginning the edit, allows chinks of doubt to flood the brain about how good it actually is. And whether you've been wasting your time.
Thankfully, my wonderful partner was able to clip me round the ear and tell me to get a grip, reassuring me that the plot was indeed a good 'un, the writing competent and that they were wanting to read it - so could I get a move on?
So now it's finished. I'm proud - I didn't think I could write one book, let alone two.
And it's taught me a valuable lesson. Next time, when I start to slow down, just when I should be racing for the finish, I'll give myself a stern talking to, to get me over the line.