Mary Beard has an interesting piece on the last stages of writing a book – SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome.
Ok I know you will think that you have heard this before, but the book is now within 1000 words of being completely finished. I am just tying up the epilogue, and if I get a good day at it tomorrow I may wrap it up (if I dont, then, yes, it could drag on till Thursday…after which I have no leeway … hope I am not tempting fate here).
When I say completely finished, I don’t actually mean completely, of course. I mean that the creative, staring-into-the-abyss bit has been done. Enough so that if I were to collapse and die tomorrow, it could be published in my name. What still remains are some of the lengthy, nitty gritty, frustrating and anxiety making stages. I mean things like the acknowledgements, where the terror that you will forget to thank someone who has been instrumentally helpful is almost as bad as staring into the abyss, the photo-captions and selection (what are the chances of inadvertently getting one the wrong way round?), the maps (worst of all) and the Further Reading and Timeline (on which I have to say I have had some help… thank you Hannah, in case I forget later). continues here.