I’ve nailed it right down, I am on schedule, I’ve sent my last piece, I’m off the hook. I have ticked box a, also known as Finishing - Stage One. Most PhDs go through a few degrees of ‘finishing’, whereby you first finish the argument, then the editing, than the conclusion and finally the re-editing. At that point, you will waltz (although I will tango) into a binding office with a wad of paper and waltz out (or tango out) with one little book (and me with a crimson rose to stick among the pages, obviously).
For me though, the highest hurdle had always been represented by the finished argument. I think that most people can cope really well with editing and re-doing more of the same, with adjustments and cross-references, but starting from zilch is a very different matter. It’s all at full speed from now on, the difficult bit is over, hurrah! And from Monday I will have some time to myself without having to think the same stuff over and over. Blimey that feels incredible already.