So, the book is finished. This makes me think of that quote (that is attributed to everybody even remotely witty, though I think Oscar Wilde actually did say it): “Books are never finished, they are merely abandoned.” So, I’ve done my best to get the book into a shape where it can function on its own before I abandoned it and that’s pretty much the best that I think any of us can do. I think it has a fairly good chance of surviving without my running back to rescue it. Maybe someone will help it out along the way if it breaks down on the side of the road or gets sick or something else traumatic. It may never be prettier or smarter than it is now, but it will have to make its own way in the world soon, taking its own chances, as we all do.
Erlack. You’d think I was sending my firstborn down the river in a basket or off on an ice floe or something.
I like Jamey’s word for it – graduation. My novel is not being abandoned. It’s graduating and going off on its way in the world, to discover alcohol, philosophy, Ramen noodles and experimental drugs and sex at college. Oh man. Um, novel? Would you like to come home? Great, it’s already left and it won’t come back now. Well, I just have to trust that I wrote it right.
While I was looking up the Oscar Wilde quote, I found some others (here and here) that consoled me, made me laugh or just nod in utter agreement. For your entertainment:
There’s nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein. ~Walter Wellesley “Red” Smith
Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book. – Cicero
You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you. ~Ray Bradbury
This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force. – Dorothy Parker
The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say. ~Anaïs Nin
Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow the talent to the dark places where it leads. – Erica Jong
Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia. ~E.L. Doctorow
A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author. – G.K. Chesterton
A word is not the same with one writer as with another. One tears it from his guts. The other pulls it out of his overcoat pocket. ~Charles Peguy
From the moment I picked up your book until I laid it down, I was convulsed with laughter. Some day I intend reading it. – Groucho Marx
Oh, I have to stop now. Somebody wants to take me out to eat to celebrate abandoning my novel. Yay!