Alternatively, you could take your manuscript, burn it, and commit its ashes to the bosom of the Pacific Ocean, much like John Goodman and Jeff Bridges do for Steve Buscemi.
I spent last evening and early this morning trying to perfect the conclusion. I'm now on my fifth or sixth draft, I've done massive rewrites, and I'm proud as hell of it. Yet there is a lingering feeling of, "I have to make more of this. This has to be better."
As long as I felt I had the capability to make it better, I kept at it. Now I've hit the point where, whatever the book's failings are, they escape me. To do more would be to change for change's sake, which is a sign I've grown bored. I'd rather stop now.
This is new territory for me. Like most people, I'm much more comfortable talking shit about other people, or deluding myself I'm going to finish something, or immersing myself in the trappings of being a writer (I almost wrote "writerly behaviour" Ugggh).
My situation, I think, is analogous to a scene in Deadwood (you knew Milch would come up sooner or later, didn't you?). After Hearst's goon throws down a challenge, Swearengen spends a day trying to figure what exactly Hearst stands to gain by having his man fight Swearengen's. The answer is unknowable, and Al finally decides, "It's past me. I cannot figure the fuckin' angle. Go ahead and fuckin' fight him."
Or as David Mamet says, "After the play's opened you gotta say, I might've known better then, or I might know better now, but that play is done."
I don't know what comes next, aside from the next one. Self-promotion? Fuck me.
And now, to cheer myself up on this dreary afternoon, and to complete the fucking one-eighty my train of thought just pulled, here's that beating scene from Deadwood. It never gets old.