I have just typed the words 'THE END'. for the first draft of #TalesofSpringRain Now the work begins again.
I must go back to the beginning to go through it chapter by chapter, line by line, word by word to make sure that every single word is the right one, every single line is where it should be and that anything that is superfluous is gently removed and composted. It is like a garden, it has been designed, the hard structures are in place, the fences and gates and paths are there. Structure is everything in a garden and in a book. It has been planted. Some of the plants and young and need feeding, others are beautifully flowering and doing great. There's weeding to do, pruning, taking out some dead things and planting something wonderful in the gap. Adding lightness here and shade there, tearing out a bed that doesn't work and planting it again with something more appropriate. After I type 'The End' next time, perhaps at the very start of the new year. I will give it to someone else to read, they will see it with fresh eyes and tell me what they think of it and I'll go back to work again because they saw things that I had grown too close to see. It will feel horrible because I am close to it, it is my child, and even before it was born I imagined how perfect and beautiful it would be, pictured our wonderful life together, then I gave birth to it and loved and nurtured it and struggled with its wilfulness and tendencies to anarchy. I will not have any criticism of my child - and yet it must be done. It needs it. I am too close to see that parts of it are monstrous and it needs therapy. Even though I know, deep inside, with help it could be stronger, brighter, more beautiful.
I'll need to distance myself and leave it to the village to tell me all its faults. And some of those faults I'll love and feel it needs to make it human, so I'll keep and nurture them until they're strengths and others I'll cut out. Any child needs a village to raise it. People I know, people I trust to nurture my child. My agent, my editor, the proofreaders that again and again are its village and its teachers. And then it will be released and will be everybody's child and like any other book, must take its chances, hope for a powerful mentor or a lover to help it grow. It's gone beyond me.
One day I'll meet it, in a bookshop on a shelf and I'll say 'hello you, it's great to meet you here' and I'll remember the fun and the struggles we had together. I'll pick it up and open it at random and see a factual inaccuracy or a spelling mistake and I'll say, 'Oh well, what can you do.' You are who your are now and your life is your own.