On Thursday at around 4 am (so technically it was Friday) I finished the novel!
My readers who are also writers are shaking their heads sympathetically, because they think that I actually believe, in my naïveté, that I’m finished, and they know the hardest part is editing. They may even be wondering how they can break the news to me gently.
I know I have really only finished the first draft of my novel and now begins the grueling editing process.
Still, an interesting thing happened.
I finished my draft at 4am. I was dancing around the house till 8:30 am, at which point exhaustion (I’d been going for several days by that point) caught up with me. I woke hours later, expecting the euphoric rush to return…no rush came. In fact, quite the opposite happened. A rush of sadness hit, a feeling of “something is missing” permeated, and I did not want to be awake. Apparently my Frankenstein comparison was closer than I realized. I was joking, the metaphor was not.
Every Friday night, well almost, my peeps and I gather at my house. We do many random things that normal people would perhaps not enjoy, but I enjoy it immensely. We have done everything from the mostly normal practicing of watching movies, to filming movies that were very bad to turning the house into a roller rink. Okay, I admit I made that last bit up, but I would do it if I could! (Note: I cannot actually skate. I can barely stand on skates. I skate about as well as a penguin flies… Still, I dream of skating well…someday.)
Sorry, I got lost there for a minute. Back to the topic at hand! One of the lovely peeps joked that my mood was postpartum depression, because I had just given birth to my book baby. I think maybe this is closer to the truth than he realized.
I also made the mistake of watching an amazing, world renowned fantasy story’s film. Then, I made the even larger mistake of comparing my new, unedited, baby book to this polished mammoth of a thing. DO NOT DO THIS.
I repeat, DO NOT DO THIS.
It will make you think your book is the literary equivalent of toilet paper. Which of course, it isn’t. It’s not done yet. It’s still in diapers. It might even be crawling around putting things in it’s mouth. This is okay. This is healthy for the book baby. Let the book baby breathe, explore and stick the shoe in its mouth if it wants to. Make sure to keep an eye on it around the stove though.
Today, after finally getting some sleep, I thought about these things for a while. I also made some changes to my story while some unknown part of my brain put all of these things together.
So, if you are a new author and you think you hate your story. DON’T. Walk away, sleep, see people, do something, eat food, drink coffee (DRINK COFFEE ALWAYS). When you get back to your book baby, you’ll remember why you love it again. Honest. It may take a little while if the stinker had smeared poo all over the walls, but still, give the baby a chance to grow into something better.
We all only get to be young once.
Except me. I am Peter Pan.
Okay, I’m not really Peter Pan, but since when did reality get a say in my life? I hear the baby is crying to be changed with my new-mum ears, apparently it’s time to get back to work.
Keep fighting friends.