creative flowering

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.

Yes, 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.



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27 thoughts on “Finished!

  1. This is FREAKING FANDANGTASTIC!! I am so PROUD of you – THRILLED for you – ECSTATIC for you and just plain doing jumping jacks and high 5s for you right now. It is such an accomplishment. No matter what happens YOU. HAVE. DONE. IT. YOU. FINISHED. YOUR. SECOND. NOVEL. WooHOO!!! Exclamations 🙂 😀 😉 and Emoticons and Capitalization abound in celebration of you and your novel. xx


  2. Congratulations, Aniko! You’ve beautifully expressed both the trials and the beauty of writing. And yes – no one will ever be able to take away this moment, or belittle it. You have achieved something momentous, and have every reason to feel jubilant and proud!

    I must admit to feeling the tiniest bit envious – ‘darkness, doubt, and story paralysis’ pretty much sums up my own progress at the moment!


  3. Sorry, we haven’t been by in so long, Aniko. We’re in the process of publishing our first novel, The Perfect 7 and it’s kept us so busy. Congrats, sweetie. We’re so happy for you and wish you the best with your novel along with a heap of success. It was a very bittersweet moment for us when we finished. We wanted so much to stay in that world we had created and we were lucky enough to have characters that weren’t done telling us their stories. So, we have a series as well. So curious about your untitled masterpiece! Can’t wait to read. XOXO


    • No worries, I’ve hardly been around here myself lately! It’s good that all of us are spending our time writing. Congratulations on getting to the publication phase of The Perfect 7! That is so exciting! What sort of book is it, and did you want to pop back with a link to a place where we can all follow your progress towards “going public” with it? 🙂 Have a super day, and thanks for the congrats!!


      • The Perfect 7 is a YA fantasy fiction novel and a coming of age story about five teenage boys in a rock band. We tried to stay as pure to a seventeen year old guy’s voice, so there’s a lot of swearing and crude humor, but we’re very proud of it and can’t wait to hear what the readers think. We’d love to give you a link to the book’s site, but it’s still under construction. You’ll be the first to know when it’s up and running, though. We’ll make sure to come back and give you the link. Thanks so much for the oppurtunity to share it with you.


  4. You are awesome. I’m super jealous, but in-a-good-way jealous. Motivated. So definitely congratulations on what I would say is the biggest step.

    Of course, now there’s the editing. I don’t know if you have the means, but I feel like a professional is worth their weight in gold. I’m not quite where you are, and I think even then, I’ll take another swipe at it myself before I send it off to an editor, so who knows what financial situation I’ll be in (I may be in retirement 🙂 ). But I feel like if I have to find the money in savings, I’m going to get a professional. Plus it’s a write-off.

    Do you know R.J. Cavendar? Among other things, he works for The Editorial Department, the group that wrote “Self Editing for Fiction Writers” (that contained the section on Point of View I sent you). And he’s a horror fan to boot. He’s pricey, but not quite as pricey as the guy I went with for “The Imaginings” (although that guy had some pretty big names to his credit).

    Anyway, rambling on about a bunch of stuff you probably don’t want to think about just yet (maybe speaking a little aloud for myself), so more than anything, congratulations.



    • Paul, hi!

      I will probably have two more revisions before I even share with beta readers, let alone an editor. Thank you for reminding me of R.J. Cavendar’s name; his Point of View chapter has been very helpful to me! Formal editing is a ways out in my future, though… I’ll copy your quip about possibly being retired before it happens! 🙂

      Thank you for visiting,



      • Interesting. I’m trying a new thing this go ’round. Since I don’t necessarily have a writer’s group, I’ve been utilizing two trusted beta readers as I go through the story. So far it’s been a great experience (knock wood 🙂 ). On their more minor comments, I’ve been able to make some changes as I’ve gone. For the bigger stuff they’re picking up on, for the sake of momentum, I’m just saving a file. If you trust your betas, well, I don’t know that I’ve read any of your first draft stuff, but I’m guessing you’re probably talented enough to tell them that it’s a first draft, let them read it while you let it rest, get some good initial feedback and move forward.

        I know everyone’s process is different–and you know the state of your manuscript better than I–but I believe there’s a wide margin between rushing to get something published and over thinking it (or probably in my case, being overcritical). That was my biggest problem with academia (and one of the many reasons I never went for my masters). Stories got stuck in this rinse-repeat cycle of workshop and revise, then workshop and revise again.

        Again, I probably say much of this because I’m jealous of where you are and wish I could be there facing the same dilemmas. But also because I think you are talented. Feed your public 🙂

        Oh, and for clarification, R.J. didn’t actually write “Self-Editing for Fiction Writers,” but he works for the Editorial Department. Here’s an interesting thread I found about them and editors in general. Besides the fact that he does horror, the thing I like with R.J. (which is probably a part of other packages as well) is his connections with publishers that I’m interested in. Anyway, here’s that thread. And I would also add that Jeff Herman’s guide to publishers, editors and agents is a great resource, and you can pick up a 2009 copy for like $4.

        Again, congratulations. And just having this discussion gives me a little more of that fire that has been barely embers the past two months. So thanks for that.




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