I’m nearing a finish line. For the past three years, I’ve been researching and writing my current novel in progress—and it’s almost done. The work must be completed before the end of May which is not so far away now.

On the corkboard in my office, there’s a calendar on which I record the chapters I’ve finished editing. It helps me track the progress of revisions. I’m doing well in that regard, but there’s the last minute finessing of characters to consider.

And still, there is one chapter and a brief epilogue to write.

The remaining story details play through my mind each night. I think about them purposefully before I nod off and they grow in detail as I sleep. I’m a firm believer in the mind’s ability to sort things out while I’m looking the other way.

A singer songwriter friend shared a trick with me. When writing a new song, she tries to ‘remember’ the music and lyric instead of focusing on the blank page. It’s a very helpful sleight of hand my mind falls for every time.

For the next while, I’ll be setting my alarm extra early to add hours onto each day until the final words are written. To quote Mary Heaton Vorse (1874-1966), “The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.”