OK, as I seem physically unable to bring the writing of the work in progress to an end, I have done something which is going to make me finish it this week. It was supposed to be finished last week – in my mind at least. And we’re talking first draft, here, not the totally finished, hand-it-to-editor item. Sigh…
So, what have I done?
I have agreed to edit a friend’s non-fiction book.
In fact, since he is in a hurry, I have not only agreed to edit it in a kind of 'oh yeah, when I've got a minute' way, I have agreed ona timetable for the week following half term:
Sunday - he will email the final article to me.
By Wednesday evening I will email his 50 000 word typescript back to him, liberally laced with the speech bubbles of MS Word’s ‘track changes’ feature.
He will then pore over my suggestions and all the punctuation I have provided and we will email back and forth (apart from when I’m at work on Thursday) until Friday evening.
He will then come over on Saturday and we will work on the whole thing most of the day.
In other words I WILL HAVE A WEEK WHERE I WILL BE MORALLY UNABLE TO WORK ON THE WIP. I therefore must finish this week.
And, then, following this frenzy of punctuation and suggestion, I will be mentally cleansed and prepared for the hard-core editing of my own work necessary if I'm going to get the book to Will (my editor) before Easter.
So, it’s simple, if you want to force yourself to finish your book, agree to interfere with somebody else’s.