When you play pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, you wear a blindfold and get spun around and pushed forward. Kids scream and laugh as you jab the tail in air and try to stick a pin in a donkey’s behind. Sounds great.
Some kids wildly run at the donkey. Other kids are methodical. Other kids don’t care. But eventually they each decide–this is where I will put this blankety-blank tail.
I feel like my writing life is like this. I’m dizzy and in the dark and eventually I’ve got to say–this is it. The story is done. Did I win?
Winning is much more clear cut with donkey. Less so with novels. At least I knew I was invited to the birthday party. No matter how many times I do it, any time I tell someone I write, I feel like I’ve gotten caught party crashing. Or I’ve come in costume and, you know, everyone else looks normal. Or I’ve tried the game and torn the donkey off the wall and into pieces. And that no one else there has a sense of humor about it.
How do you feel when you tell someone you write. Not even the strong–I’m a writer. Just it’s timid friend–I write.
More importantly–how do you know when a story is done?