All my journals have names. They are all called something beginning with "The so-called ..." When I named my 57th journal I could feel that things were coming to an end. Not just the end of the year and the end of my grandma. But also the end of Replacing Angel.
By now I should be used to it, but after finishing a draft I tend to feel a bit blue, because I don't know how to handle life when I'm not writing and yet I can't write again if I don't take a break. So you can imagine how I feel when I've finished a whole book ... and I'm not even there yet. I've finished the 4th draft and begun a 5th one. But this 5th one is going to be the last! Now it's about fine-tuning and work a bit more on the beginning and the end.
I spent the whole weekend in bed with Polly (yes, I also name my laptops)and read Replacing Angel aloud to myself. Well I managed 200 of 300 pages and I didn't read aloud all the time because my throat was and still is sore.
I've done things like changing "OK" to "okay" as it reads better. I've also made a mind-map about the character the Man. He still needs work. He needs to be just a bit more likeable without losing his psycho side ... Another thing I've amused myself with is to find synonyms for the word "drink". So far I've used gulp 11 times, swig 15 times and sip 30 times. And drink 60 times ... Does that mean that it's too much drinking in the novel? I'm grateful for any other synonyms you can come up with. Quaff is another word, but I don't like it very much.
My plan was to finish Replacing Angel this year. I think I'll almost reach that gold. I'm waiting for more feedback and even if I reach the feedback before the New Year I might not have time to process it. So I have to set a new deadline: 31 January.
Lastly I've studied Walking in this world by Julia Cameron. She writes: "Completing a draft of a novel may spark thoughts of suicide rather than celebration". Further she compares the final stages in a creative project to a glass mountain: "I slither down every time I try to clamber up./.../ This delicate and treacherous stage, the glass mountain of creative doubt, is a slippery slope we face alone. It is on its icy flank that we must find small footholds, edging our way upward from concept to actual conception - a difficult birth, as pivotal as conquering our creative Everest."
Don't worry. I'm not suicidal, but today when I went for a walk with my camera I found nothing worth taking a picture of. Even the sea looked ugly in the grey light ...