I have a teenage boy.
He just turned fourteen two weeks ago and I’m actually quite surprised he made it to his fourteenth birthday, because honestly, I wasn’t sure he would. He drives me nuts. I’ve been told it only gets worse too. One friend told me to just wait until he turns fifteen. That’s when I really won’t like him. She said not to worry, though, once he turns twenty-five I’ll like him better.
Wonderful. Just wonderful.
Here’s the thing with this kid—he’s a bugger at home, pushing his boundaries, super messy, and likes to argue just for the sake or arguing:
Him: Why did you put milk on my cereal?
Me: Because you like milk on your cereal?
Him: What makes you think that?
Me: Because you had milk on your cereal for breakfast yesterday.
Him: That was yesterday. You just don’t know me at all.
But outside our house, everyone LOVES him! They think he is the greatest kid ever. Now, don’t get me wrong, as far as teenagers go, he’s pretty good one, but he can be SOOO annoying too.
At home, he’s rude.
Outside our home (school, church, scouts, friends), he’s a real gem of a guy. He even helps pick up after himself. He’s been known to carry dishes to the sink. What the heck?
At home, he picks on his younger brother and sister ALL THE TIME.
Outside our home, little kids adore him. They think he’s amazing and cool. They high-five him (my kids scream at him to stop touching them).
At home, he is demanding.
Outside our home, he has manners. He has been known to say please and thank you. He holds open doors for people.
At home, he sulks and mopes around as though nothing in this world will ever make him happy.
Outside our home, he is a ball of joy.
I am the mother of a teenage son, so this is my lot in lot in life for the next six or so years (so I’ve been told). I look at him and think, “Who in their right mind is ever going to want to marry my son? He’s going to live with us forever, isn’t he?”
But I must say, that at least when he steps outside our door, he knows how to behave and be a good kid. That has to mean something.
When I first started writing my book, I was excited. It was cute. It was new and fun. I loved watching it grow and develop—like a toddler. I put my heart and soul into it and shaped it into being.
Now, it’s acting just like a teenager.
I’m in the editing/revising phase and this book is being a pain in my backside. Filling in plot holes and tweaking has become excruciatingly painful, especially the ending. The ending is mocking me.
I only have twenty more pages to edit and rewrite (I’ve come a long way) and yet, for the past several days, the ending simply won’t come together. It’s as if my book has become a lanky teenage boy who has thrown himself over the couch, his big size eleven feet flopped over the armrest, sleeping the afternoon away.
I nudge him. Nothing. I nudge him again. I get a moan before he rolls over, his back to me.
Me: Come on. We need to write.
My Novel: Not now. Later.
Me: No, I want to write now. It’s a good time. You’re not doing anything.
My Novel: I am doing something. I’m sleeping.
Me: You’re always sleeping.
My Novel: Yeah, well, I like sleeping.
Me: Are you going to help me or what?
My Novel: Tomorrow. I’ll help you tomorrow, okay? I promise.
Me: You promised me that same thing yesterday.
My Novel: This time I mean it. (My novel flashes me a peace sign).
It needs to get done, because there is no such thing as a novel without an ending. AND there is no way I’m allowing the crappy ending that is there to just sit and taunt me. The ending will be fixed. It has too. I can make it better.
Then, and only then, when I send it out into the world, I will hope it behaves itself, reading the way I always envisioned it would. No one will ever know the love, patience, and long suffering that went into the making of my book. They will never know how much I agonized over it or how much I lost sleep over it. No one will ever know—which is a good thing.
I only want them to see the good stuff.
Leave a comment and let me know how your novel is coming along? What roadblocks you’ve faced, what amazing hurdles you’ve jumped over. I’d love to know. Leave a comment and I’ll pop over and check out your site too.