Yes, I’ve broken 50K on the latest Dru novel. I am still terrified, I still think it’s awful, I am still tearing my hair out and screaming “everyone is going to hate it AND HATE ME! I’LL NEVER GET FINISHED WAAAH!” But that’s so much a part and parcel of the doldrums of a novel’s creation that I’m actually riding the feelings with a modicum of calm. Yeah, it might suck, but at least it won’t be a pile of unfinished suckage. The rest is for an editor to help me with.
You’d think that after how many books I would figure out that this feeling of it absolutely being the worst book in the universe is just a product of the creative process (or emotional exhaustion) and it would fade. The bad news is that it hasn’t by now, it’s not likely to, and the best I can do is ameliorate it by remaining conscious that this exhaustion and the attendant fear are just reactions. I can watch them go by on my mental screen and breathe through them.
50K is usually the turning point, where I start an increasingly-fast race downhill to the end of the book, tying in all the threads I spun out earlier and tipping over the first domino so the whole thing goes the way I want it to. I often refer to this as the Flat Diet part of the book–where you can just slide the pizza under the door and I’ll see you when I’ve typed finis, kthxbai.
Of course, there’s proofs and a clean pass of another book to look at, and the short story due on April 1…so, along with the pizza can you slide some tandoori mixed grill and some naan through? Just leave the wine outside, I’m sure I’ll remember to get to it in a couple hours…