Sunday, August 26, 2012

I Love You, THE and END!

It's been two weeks since I shared how our amazing summer of Teachers Write is not actually coming to an end. For me, the summer is over, I've been back at school all week. Days of waking up and crawling into my laundry room with time enough to write with nowhere to really be are gone (for now) but the writing continues. I haven't been able to keep up with writing daily but I've found time here and there to keep writing and plugging away on my work in progress.

Yesterday, I had intended to write a sentimental post about the passing of dear Ivan. I have been so sad all week and my ideas about what I want to say about Ivan and his story have been simmering in my head. There's definitely a blog post to be written, but when I got home from having coffee with a friend and from complaining to her that I have so much to do, I realized taking time to work on my book and try to finish it was what really needed to be done. I knew I would feel awesome if I could just finish it!

The house was quiet and I thought about sitting at my kitchen table to write...but then I realized the laundry room was where I needed to be. My little stool where I had rested my laptop all summer was still there. My fleece blanket sat atop the dryer, just waiting for me, too. It took two seconds to be all set up and ready to go. I closed the door and told myself it was time. I was determined to finish.
There was a part where I felt stuck. I sat there and started at the page, knowing it was so close to the end. Knowing I didn't want to give up. I did what I have been doing all summer...I just wrote something. I have fully accepted that a first draft's job is just to be. I'm cool with it maybe not being exactly what I want. I know I can go back. It's a freeing feeling! 

I got chills when I go to the very end. I wrote it and then went back and made a few changes. I moved a few sentences around and reread it. I was excited trying to imagine how a reader might be feeling when he or she gets to the end. I hope it's as goose-bump-inducing for them as it was for me. 

And then I got to type this:

THE and END are pretty awesome words right now. Of course, I know it's not the end AT ALL! It kind of feels like it's the beginning all over again actually. It's the beginning of revision! Later today, I'll print all 182 pages of my first draft. I'll clip it all together and put it in an envelope. I'll write: Do not open until Sunday, October 7th, 2012. And then I'll tuck it onto a bookshelf next to my bed. 

Not only is it the beginning of revision for this book, it's also the beginning of another work in progress. I have a few stories that have been rolling around in my head and I think I know which one is up next. I've decided to give Scrivener a try. Starting a new WIP seems like the right time to start with my Scrivener trial. I'm very excited to see what it can do!

I'm thrilled to be able to experience what it's like to get to the end of a first draft of an entire book. It's truly exhilarating. I feel an overwhelming sense of accomplishment. I'd love to hear how you are doing with your writing! Are you still writing? Do you plan to keep writing and how might it be different during the school year. How do you feel when you finish a draft? And do you look forward to revising? (I have a feeling revising might be more work than getting the first draft written...) Thanks for stopping by and sharing!

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