When Is It Done?
Books are not like a bird in the oven, you can't just stick a fork in it to see when it's "done". I recently read that Hemingway said "A book is never done, it's just due." And that gave me some relief. I know when I'm headed in the right direction, but sometimes I'm not sure it's finished. But having it due is important. And any amound of due will do. I recently finished a draft of a kid's book I'm working on. "The Abominable Plan of Dr. Rasp" is something I've been thinking about for a long time. But only when you print it and have a place to send it does it seem real. Having to find young readers and send it out helped make it tangible for me. Spelling errors lept off the page. Chapter headings were suddenly so obviously in dire need of renaming. It seemed messy and awkward and just not ready to send out at all. And that's when I realized it was the perfect time to send it out.
It needs commentary, opinion. It needs someone to love it, someone to hate it, and someone to stop reading because 'it just wasn't for them.'
So off it's gone. And now it's in the trough. I'm waiting for responses, not ready quite yet to needle people about why I didn't get a response on the first day saying 'I LOVED it, you're a genius. I'll settle for 'yes, I read it.'