When is a novel manuscript finished?

1. When you reach the desired wordcount? (Well, yes, sort of.)

2. When the deadline arrives? (It had better be finished by then.)

3. Finished? What is this finished of which you speak? (Not a good idea.)

4. When opening the computer file means you end up on the floor with no memory of what’s just occurred? (I think this means you’ve been working on it too long.)

5. When you’ve sent the manuscript off to your editor? (Why, yes. I think so.)

Then you’re done. At least until she sends you your revisions. But that will be months from now.

Then, take a brief moment to appreciate the words you taught to your spellchecker. In my case (word processor was updated, so it was worse than usual): arse; ballocks; catamite; dildo; kohl; mangosteens; vambraces.

Now, it’s time to start the next project.

Related post:

The Art of Letting Go.