I finished my novel yesterday.
I’ve been meaning to get back into blogging, which hasn’t been going so well (clearly), but don’t let that fool you into thinking I haven’t been writing. When I have been writing, I’ve been focused.
It’s a bit strange, because I’ve been very close to the end for a few weeks now. I had the last scenes all mapped out mentally, and it was just a matter of getting them on paper. One was a particularly tough scene that I kept getting stuck on, but I worked that one out on Sunday (which is usually the only day of the week lately I can find the great chunks of time necessary for transformational scene writing).
Then last night I wrote quite a bit, but still had a ways to go after about an hour at it. I’m not sure what it was that pushed me past the apprehension of reaching the end, but something inside me said Just get it done. So, I ignored my bedtime, stuck with it, and in the same month that I turned 31, and after four years on this particular project, I have completed my first novel.
It still doesn’t have a title, but right now I’m terming it the beautiful disaster. Large chunks of it are beautiful, and large chunks of it are still a disaster. Some of them even overlap.
I’ve wanted this for my whole life, and apart from my own desires, I feel very strongly that this is what I have inside me to be able to give. Finishing felt happy and scary, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I cried a little bit, not even understanding the tears as they came out of me.
In a way, it’s a culmination of so much I’ve worked for. And in a way, it’s just another beginning.
Now I get to start the editing process. I have mixed feelings about this going forward. It could be exciting to read back through everything that Roni from now and Roni from four years ago thought and wrote. Will I experience those old fears all over again – that it won’t be good enough? Because I recognize that for the first draft it just needed to be written down, but for the second draft, it actually needs to be good and it all needs to make sense.
I envision myself sitting on the floor in the center of my office, white pages with words on them strewn about me like fallen confetti. Me, in the middle of the pile, trying to make sense of it all and wondering how long it will take me to dig out a path to the bathroom.
I’m going to try to start blogging again. Keep in mind, if you’re reading this, that I don’t know anything about anything yet. I’m hoping to learn, and I’m hoping that there will be some interest and value in allowing readers of this blog to come along on that journey with me.
Also, though I’ve been notorious for breaking deadlines and commitments when it comes to writing, I’m setting myself a deadline. Draft 2 is due on August 9th. We’ll see how that goes.
If you’re working on your own writing project, whether you’ve set a deadline for yourself or not, feel free to share it here.