Well, as of today, I’ve done it.
I’ve officially completed my third novel (the first two will never see the light of day without heavy revision), and this time it feels like a real accomplishment. This isn’t the pipe dream of a 7th grade student who wrote a book in 3 old journals, and it isn’t the ambitious flailing of a high school sophomore. This was a real effort I put forth, and, well… frankly, as proud as I am, I feel it’s a sloppy mess.
But it’s my sloppy mess.
It’s a sense of accomplishment, finishing the bare bones of something that I know I can revise into something more solid, something that might make me a penny or two. More importantly, though, it’s something that can communicate the message I’ve always wanted to communicate to my readers. It has the characters who I’ve always wanted to make, the sort who can reach out to others because they come from the experiences of myself and others like me. I am so confident in this cast of characters, and I believe in them, and in their struggles, and in what they can share with others.
As sloppy as it is, as imperfect and cluttered as I’m sure it is right now, I know that I have something pretty good in the works.
Sure, there’s going to be a bit of a void in my life for awhile, and I’m nervous about sending a first copy off to alpha readers just because it IS such a trainwreck, but I figure I can fill that void by starting on the sequel.
I’m glad writing has become such a part of my daily ritual because it means I’m likely to continue writing. Because of my disabilities, if something is habit for me, if it’s routine, I’m that much more likely to do it. It turns out my years of writer’s block can just as easily be explained by not actively placing my writing as a priority in my schedule as it can from my lack of ideas and purpose.
Now I have that purpose, though, and now I know for certain I can do what I always thought was just a pipe dream — I can write a novel. I can sit down, type out words, until I’ve written a full-length novel with a mostly coherent plot line and decent characterization.
Maybe nothing will come from this, though I really doubt it. The only way things will stagnate is if I let them by failing to follow through on my promises to myself. Thankfully, I have a lot of people to keep me accountable. I never thought I would dedicate my time and energy to something other than Aurelia and Lusiel, but I’m not disappointed in myself, either. I started out on this journey on a whim and a whirlwind of inspiration, and I’ve found meaning and purpose in writing.
It just goes to show that you can never really predict where your words will take you.