Finishing a novel is a bit like making an offering. You spend years of your life moving toward this moment. A novel begins with an idea and finishes like a symphony. Then once you have finally dotted the last i and crossed the last t you send it off into oblivion quite unsure what will happen. You send off two and a half years of your life in a 81/2 by 11 box not sure if it will find a home or be relegated to the dust heaps of a slush pile. Maybe you have some novels published before and this will have to follow those trail blazers. People you have never met will read and evaluate your anguish and hopes and dreams in a matter of minutes. Roughly the time it takes to read a page or two and then they will cast your effort into a category of dissapointment or real excitement that they have found the elusive nugget of literary truth. While you sit and wonder where your child has gone.
You have lived with this novel for so long you can't quite imagine life without it. The day after you send it off you get up and the routine is gone. A job ended. The office is now dusty and dark. The hot fire of inspiration is replaced with the tedium of the mundane. Oh yeah, all those things I put off. You wonder distantly where those halcyon days have gone where you match your wit with the Gods. Suddenly you are getting your oil changed on your car and paying some of those bills that sit in the ubiquitous pile and fending off telemarketers. Before you commnued with the dead.
But it is an offering this novel. You have cast your line out into the sea of history and you will never be quite the same regardless of what happens. Be it a bestseller, filler for somebodys desk drawer, or a pulitzer you will be different for having lost that part of yourself. For if you believe you were destined to write your novel then you have filled one of the milestones of your life and have moved a little further on into the twilight. And maybe you will just start another novel and begin again and maybe you'll never write another but sometime in a moment not chosen, maybe before you sleep you'll glimmer all those who have gone before you and made this same offering to the world and you'll see you have taken one step closer to their oblivion.
And to your fate.