The novel doesn’t have a name. The series doesn’t have a name. The feelings I have right now don’t all have names, but that doesn’t change the fact that I finished.
I’ve completed the first (full) draft of my second novel.
It is one-hundred and thirty-eight thousand words long, which is four-hundred and ninety-two pages. It took me two tries, with one near-complete rewrite. It took courage, because the people in this story are not kind. It took dedication, because this was a very long haul, and nothing about the story came easily or without destabilizing everything I’d already written. It took tenacity to forge through my doubts, and balls of steel to rally the nerve to try again, no matter how often the story unraveled. It took over a year to get to this moment, the one just after typing “Austin, Texas – April 7, 2013” at the end of the manuscript. I am hopeful and tired and slightly in awe of whatever it is that compels me to put forth this much effort. I don’t know if I deserve this largess. I don’t know that I would have asked for it. Yet here it is – because of me, because I didn’t give up. No one can ever take this moment from me. The manuscript could be lost, it could be turned down by every publisher, it could get laughed at by everyone who reads it, but none of that changes the fact that I accomplished this. I finished my second novel!
This is worth every pre-dawn writing session, every missed party, every Saturday spent alone with my keyboard. I can’t imagine life without this, I can’t imagine me without this. Thank you to everyone who helped me move through the darkness, doubt, and story paralysis to reach the fullness of this blossoming, this becoming.