During the summer, I got constant inquiries about when my novel would be finished. Those close to me knew it was nearing the end of its final revision, so I'm sure they were championing my intent to get the manuscript into the hands of possible agents ASAP. Others, I'm sure, were just being polite, knowing how long I've been at this project and wondering if it would ever be done.
I had already placed pressure on myself to finish the revision by a certain date. That would have been a good working plan, had I just been editing what I'd already written. However! The last ten chapters of the book are actually being almost totally re-written. New dialogue, total chapters deleted, a couple of new ones added, characters have been more carefully defined, and a different ending has already formed in my head. That takes much more time but it is all to the good as I now feel the book works (and I didn't have that belief before).
The result of all this is that I've made the decision to just keep at it, and stay on the path that I know is going to give me the best end result. I realized that I was succumbing to all this unnecessary pressure that had nothing to do with producing the work I've imagined. I know I'm nearing the end, and the impulse to hurry and be done is a normal one - but not the best one.
When I'm not at my keyboard pursuing that eventual finish, I'm already forming my next book in my head. I have a folder for it where I keep filing notes and ideas, and I'm excited to start it. But, for now, my working time is well spent on this first effort. I'll be sure and let you know when I've typed The End.