Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow

Slogging to THE END


I’m sad to say that this will be the last “Write Side Up.” Ending my column was a difficult decision to make, but it’s time. I’ve enjoyed being part of the Independent family — it’s a very welcoming, laidback place to hang out a shingle.

And since this is my last post, here’s a little secret just between us: I hate endings. Loathe them. This is true when I’m finishing a novel or short story I’m working on, or in real-life situations.

New beginning are AWESOME. They’re fun, so full of potential. So many possibilities to play with and rearrange. But endings? Ugh. Anxiety-producing. Awful. Grueling.

That’s why I waited until the 11th hour to turn this piece in to my very understanding editor (um, thanks, Holly. You’re the best!). Because it’s hard to cross that finish line…it feels so final.

You know the two most important words when I’m working on a novel?

"THE END."

And they’re the hardest for me to type. Yet, I feel this huge sense of relief once those words are on the screen. The ending has officially occurred, and soon there will be another project (i.e., a new beginning). Huzzah! * back patting all around for a job well done *

But getting there? It’s like slogging through molasses.

Coincidentally, as I write this ending for my column, I’m also at the same point in a novel I’ve been working on for the better part of a year. I know what happens and how this book needs to wrap up. I keep finding little threads I need to tie together, things I need to check over, plot points to review. I’m so close to typing those two precious little words, but I haven’t done it. Not yet.

Another secret just between us: I get wildly jealous when I hear other authors talk about racing toward the finish line. They’re enthusiastic, they’re energized. Sprinting toward those two important words with everything they’ve got.

My final stretch is usually more of a limp. I have to fight myself to get there. Every. Single. Time.

So, yeah, I don’t like endings. I don’t like saying goodbye to this column or to my amazing colleagues and editor, even though I know there are good things ahead and new beginnings aplenty.

I’ve been dragging my feet to set the end date, and I’ve definitely put off writing this last column. It’s no mystery why this is. I’ve enjoyed writing for the Independent and I’ll miss it. I’ve learned so much both as a reader and a writer here. It’s a place where I could voice my thoughts on the writing life, make a joke, or talk about the industry or simply a good book I’ve read.

Endings are hard, man. But if I just keep pushing forward, no matter how slow, no matter how much I fight myself, I eventually cross the finish line.

And look at that: I’m there.

THE END

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