Talk about emotional. Finishing up a full length novel is like placing yourself in the shoes of an overly hormonal, self-conscious, yet very excited teenage girl who just got boobs, and a drivers license, and is ready to take on the future as adult even though she’s really only sixteen.
The emotions that come with such a big step is really hard to explain. Some days you feel like you’re on top of your game, and there is no stopping you. You’re proud, yet cool and collected. These days are the BEST!!
Then of course there has to be the days that you feel worried and anxious. You want everything to be perfect so you’re obsessed, but too exhausted and stressed to actually catch the errors or even revise anything worth while.
Then there’s the time line and the planning. You need to set your schedule at least two months out or even three. (I know, I know, most of you do that anyway… But I don’t!) Yes, I’m a goal planner, and yes I’m goal ACCOMPLISHED! But that doesn’t necessarily mean I plot my life in advance. Usually, I write down my yearly goals, break that down to monthly goals, then I somewhat set weekly ones as I go… I’ll jot down events and appointments on the dates they’re scheduled, and that’s it! Walla. Every day I wake up and do as much as I can in the time that I have that will help me reach my goals. I do it in a way that allows me to be a MOM first and foremost, not a schedule abiding robot… Really, who has the discipline to be a f**kin Stepford anyway!?
BUT, as the publishing of your novel approaches, somehow that calendar manages to fill up with the daily accomplishments that just need to be attended to in a timely manner! Chapters and edits that can’t be put off until tomorrow and deadlines that need to be met no matter how little sleep you get in the process in order to nail down your dates!
In the mix of all this brain spinning emotional madness, there are also the days of doubt. That’s right, I said it. Self-doubt is an undeniable bitch for even the best of the best. Even if those days are few and far between they still show up. Usually unexpectedly, it’s like reality slaps you in the face and then the aftermath of that slap lingers there for a while, taunting you every time you look in the mirror.
What if’s crowd their way in your mind and start throwing elbows as they each fight for their own space. What if its not ready? What if I should have waited and pushed through a few more rounds of revisions? What if it isn’t as good as my last one? What if my editor hates it, and struggles to even fix it because it sucks to bad? What if it’s not sexy enough? What if it’s too sexy? (lol I’m aiming for something real, yet a little less graphic than my last book so that my grandparents will actually be allowed read it…) What if its too average? What if I started too many sentences with ‘she’? The list goes on and on and on!!
More often than not, the Doubtful Debbie days are followed by a Practical Patty day. You screw your head back on the right way, and remind yourself of what you’ve accomplished and how bad-ass you really are. You put yourself to work with the prospective of a professional, as you should, and get the damn job done. You think more clearly, and focus no mater where you are and what your doing. Creative energy flows and you’re able to pinpoint the loose ends and the final touch ups. Even when you’re not working on your book, you actually are. No task is safe from the back thoughts of the finishing touches of your novel.
In the end it’s all worth it! Because as a writer, there is no better feeling than holding a stack of pages, fresh from the print, with you name plastered on the front in block!
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