November is almost upon us. November is the month when a lot of people will set themselves the goal of finishing a novel (writing one, not reading one), or at least a good portion of one. I’m not down for it this year, the writing project I’ve been into has been working me over pretty good. My goal now is simply to finish the damn thing. I spent much of the summer being stuck, I don’t know exactly why. I think sometimes life just intrudes, sometimes the forces down below decide that you’re going to be occupied elsewhere, and that’s that. I seem to have gotten unstuck recently, and again I don’t know exactly why, but after a few false starts I have gotten some good work done on it lately. I don’t want to jinx myself but I think the end might be in sight and if I can keep a little mo going I might actually get the thing done.
This draft of it, anyway.
I like the current draft, though, I think it’s in pretty good shape, although I’ve said that before, and been wrong. Hemingway once claimed that he read his entire manuscript every day when he sat down to work, and although I wonder if he might not have been over-served when he said it, I must admit that I spend a lot of time going back, rereading and cleaning things up as I go. Most writing teachers tell you not to do that, the prevailing theory holds that you should press on regardless, just get the damn thing written, get to the end and then go back and do your housekeeping later. I really try to work that way sometimes, I think I was laboring under the misapprehension that it would speed things up, and maybe it does, but not for me. I don’t seem to be wired that way. But I do feel like I’ve finally left the last base camp and I’m climbing, and the top of the mountain can’t be too much higher.