Well, it seems amazing to me, and it’s taken me quite a while, but I am happy to say that I have finally completed a polished manuscript of my YA novel. Break out the bubbly! Prance around in a victory dance! Toss my pages in the air! Pat myself on the back! I’m not exactly sure what to do to celebrate, but trust me, I’ll think of something.
What fun I’ve had! Whatever happens going forward, I will treasure the time I spent on this endeavor. I adore my little heroine. In some amazing, magical way that I can’t explain, she’s become absolutely real to me.
With total honestly, I can say that I’ve enjoyed every moment of working on this project. It’s been a labor of love and it’s thrilling to have finally gotten to the finish line. I feel grateful to myself for giving myself the time and space to stay with the book and let it unfold and reshape itself. And there’s tremendous thankfulness bubbling up for everyone who has helped and encouraged me. Here are a few things I’ve learned that might be helpful in your own work:
• Creating a world takes time: You can’t rush it. One of the biggest gifts I gave myself was permission to devote as many hours as I needed to create and craft my story. Knowing that I had time to work on it every day really freed me.
• Baby steps are just fine: Some days, I made only a little progress: fixing a thorny few paragraphs or coming up with a more believable plot point. But I decided that any forward motion, even a small step, was A-OK because I was moving my story along. Relaxing about this was a huge stress reliever!
• Rewriting can be fun: Never thought I’d say this, but I’ve really come to enjoy revising. I’ve come to think of it as enriching and enlivening, layering and deepening. It’s been a real kick taking a nugget of drama in my story and blowing it out into something bigger and more exciting.
Are there any wonderful and unexpected new things that you’re discovering as you write? Please let me know — I’d love to hear from you!