I just got to “The End” of a manuscript I first began writing in 1999. 19-freakin’-99! That means this thing has been in my head and under my skin for 18 years. It’s old enough to smoke.
Of course, as any writer can tell you, “The End” does belong in quotation marks, because it’s really just a quotation of the last two words of a manuscript. It is not the end. It may have taken me eighteen years, but I’m now at the beginning of a daunting thing.
Rewriting. This is the part where you’ve bought the house, but the kitchen has to go. Then, while you’re installing the new sink, you discover mold in the living room. Abatement is working when you find out about the termites. And the whole damn thing needs a new roof. With luck, my renovations will be complete before the manuscript is old enough to drink.
I already know, as I head into the rewriting process, that I will never reach a genuine, heartfelt “The End.” I’ll keep refinishing, repainting, and rearranging the furniture until the last possible moment. Thank God for deadlines. Without them, there would always be another wall to paper. “The End” must come to make way for new beginnings.
Like this blog! Unlike a manuscript, a blog never gets to “The End.” It’s more like a tunnel you keep digging or a trail you keep blazing. I invite you to stop by for weekly ruminations on writing and life in Las Vegas.