Why isn’t the manuscript ready? Because every book is more work than anyone intended.
If authors and editors knew, or acknowledged, how much work was ahead, fewer contracts would be signed. Each book, before the contract, is beautiful to contemplate. By the middle of the writing, the book has become, for the author, a hate object. For the editor, in the middle of editing, it has become a two-ton concrete necklace. However, both author and editor will recover the gleam in their eyes when the work in completed, and see the book as the masterwork it really is.
– Samuel S. Vaughan, in Editors on Editing (1985)