What no writing class can tell you, what no writer can really tell you, is how to truly finish a book. It's different from writer to writer, book to book. There is no one single way. It comes to be finished when it decides that it is finished, and no amount of short-cutting will change that -- unless the writer is will to settle for less, and, invariable, most writers who fail, fail because they settle for less.
Maybe that's what separates a writer from a professional writer, or, generally, anyone who has a hobby or a dream from somebody who actually does it for a living. If you want to succeed, you can't settle for less. You have to keep working at it, improving it, be honest with yourself about it -- because, if you aren't, then it you won't be able to accept outside criticism, either -- and eventually (I assume, I hope) you will finish it.
Or you will give up. And I am not willing to do that. Maybe I have a job, maybe I go to school and work towards other goals in my life so I don't starve to death or live in a cardboard box, but I will, whenever I get the chance, I work on it. And I will continue to keep working on it until it tells me that it is done. Anyone who has ever written a book, or even a short story, and been successful at completing it, knows what I am talking about.
When I talk about "being successful" and "being a professional writer" I am not talking about being someone of that stature of Stephen King or Chuck Palahniuk, I am talking about someone who makes a living as a writer (i.e. can pay the bills and have a little bit left over), and probably teaches at a university (or I would even settle for a community college).
My goal is to find a small or a mid-sized publisher, if I am lucky and can actually find an agent who will work with me, and market to a small, but loyal, audience. Maybe not the rock star of the company, but certainly someone who can be counted on to sell books.
I do have a marketing strategy and what-not, and, if I am not able to find someone willing to take me on in this capacity, then I will -- albeit somewhat reluctantly, because it's not ideal - go the self-publishing route, and, because I am cheap, I will probably only publish my work as an e-book. Then I will have to market it myself, and -- seeing as how I have so many engaged readers already -- will probably sell like 5 books.
However, I will keep trying. If it doesn't happen with the first book, then maybe the second, or the third, or the fiftieth. I have no shortage of ideas. As long as my brains still functions and I have means of getting the ideas out, I will continue to pursue it.
That's a promise, for a better or worse, that I will keep until I can no longer keep it. I can't say it will last forever, because nothing in this world lasts forever, but it will last until it no longer can last, and then it will be forgotten, and I will be forgotten, because eventually everybody is forgotten, and since we will probably all kill each other somehow in the next 10-15 years or so, when the human race will realize that it is nothing more than a figment from the imagination of a zit on the ass of a trans-dimensional turtle (I wish I could say that I made that up, but that, minus the trans-dimensional part -- that was my addition -- was actually how my political thought professor, way back when, described the philosophy of Niezche).
Or not. And we will all die of old age or cancer or whatever other disease from the nearly infinite multitude of diseases available out there, chomping at the bit to eradicate the human race one person at a time. Either way, we all die somehow, and I don't know how that will be, and neither doesn't anyone else, although some people can guess more easily than others, but I am not a betting man so I am not going to even think about it. Hopefully it is more entertaining than sad, though, if I had to choose, but anyway, it doesn't matter. The awareness or lack of awareness doesn't make it any more or less true. It is, and will always be...
I am not sure how I have gotten on this tangent. I am sorry for getting all depressing there for a second. I suppose when I am only loosely considering what I am writing two seconds before I write it, my subconscious can direct me towards one topic or another at random -- well, not at random, because it's not random, we just don't truly understand how it works. Anyway, it might have to do with the fact that I am also watching Louie, and, although extremely funny and intelligent, that show can be damn depressing.
Anyway, it doesn't matter. It is what it is, just like anything else. I have control over it, loosely -- the amount anyone has control over anything -- and I am going to leave it as is, for better or worse.