Philip C. Anderson is a writer. Here, he writes about his current projects, idle thoughts, and events, both in his life and the world-at-large.

Finally

I find it very likely that no one has paid attention to my website or my Twitter since I posted my most recent stuff a few months ago. This is mainly a relief; no one expects anything out of me, just another fledgling writer who got too far ahead himself on his timeline. But now—for real this time—I’m ready to announce what’s going on with my book.

I’d told myself after I finished the rough draft of The Demon’s Call that I would have it out in three months at the latest. That didn’t happen, and the start of December came and went. As with any endeavor, at least in art, an artist is never truly finished growing, and the piece they’re working on is never truly complete—even now, I could read over The Demon’s Call and still find things to nit-pick. But there comes a point where the time an artist has spent must be enough. I thought I had reached that point on the seventeenth of January.

And I was wrong. My brother had caught a few dozen typos during his readthrough after I’d “finished.” Fine. Even on his most recent readthrough on a candidate that I’m extremely happy with, he found a little more than a dozen, much to my chagrin. But during the fixes back in January, I came upon a small passage with a sentence structure that sickened me, and that disease had run rampant across my words. In many cases, it simply proved inappropriate to use it where I had. It’s a lesson that forms a truism of sorts: just when we think we’ve got something figured out, we realize we actually don’t know anything. We know nothing because we don’t yet know what we don’t know.

So I relegated myself to the desk once again. During that time, I combed through The Demon’s Call, trying to find every instance of that sentence structure to free my book from its gnarled hands. I became stricter about its use on each pass, and after three or four—it’s a blur—I’d finally gotten the work to a passable grade. But still, it didn’t read how I wanted it to. I can well understand why writers don’t like the editing phase. Most struggle with writing to begin with, and editing their own work is akin to trying to grip a fish after they’ve smeared KY on their hands, but on top of that, it sometimes feels like it’s never going to end.

How much is enough? My brother could tell anyone how much I battled that question. But it all came to a head in late February, about five weeks after I’d “finished” the first time. I would read snippets in between working and gaming—I do everything at my desk, and I would have the manuscript up on another screen almost all the time while doing the task-at-hand. Then, it happened. Anyone who’s experienced what I did can easily say how epiphanic and groundbreaking realizations like I had are; yet they’re also so small. As glib as it sounds, the way I wanted my paragraphs and sentences structured came to me, and the rest of my novel shored up like finally getting to pull the thread on a hemming stitch. The result, after two-and-a-half more editing passes now rests in the release candidate of my book.

I’d told myself I’d get it out by the end of February, then the end of March. But now, with the end of April already looming upon us—where did the time go?—I am finally ready to announce that The Demon’s Call will be on sale in both e-book and soft cover formats by the first of the month.

May the Light illuminate your path.

I Did the Thing

The Demon's Call