So, I'm lost this past Sunday at St. Mark's Wildlife Refuge, doomed to hike about 12 miles instead of the 6 I was planning, much of it in the heat and biting flies that typify the end of the Florida summer, when suddenly I relax--my body and my mind relax, and I'm walking along but my mind is bobbing along on a string somewhere up above--and realize just how wrong my life has been the last few months; not wrong in most ways, in that my personal life and my day job life are going just fine, and I have been writing--instead, wrong in my assumptions and my vision of the future...because here I've been sprinting to finish my novel--a novel I've been working on since 1999--and the only reason I'm doing it is to make sure I don't miss some "window of opportunity" from a major US publisher, and in the meantime I'm making a good book exactly that, a good book and not a great book...and I want to at least attempt a great book. So while I was rambling out in the wilderness, much as this paragraph has been rambling without much respect for the signposts and markers of proper punctuation, I realized that the most important thing I can do right now is to slow down, to establish the right pace to finish this novel, and to do it right, in every possible way. And if for some reason everything evaporates into thin air before I finish, to hell with everyone and their mothers; at least I got the novel done right.
Of course, my practical wife points out that with so many projects coming out, it's unlikely interest will die quite as soon as I think it will.
Meanwhile, I will explore this novel like I explored that wilderness--without a road map, not caring much for the trail, and see where it takes me. If that means another year out there, so be it.
Do not be surprised if I throttle you if you ask me if my novel is done, however.