Tonight, I completed the final draft of one of my three manuscripts.
It’s been three months since my last blog post, mostly due to the fact that I didn’t really have anything new to say about my writing. This last draft has taken me a little longer than I’d hoped, and a big part of me is glad that it’s done. Completing a story to the point that it’s ready to go out into the world (well, as ready as I can get it on my own, anyway) is a big achievement. And I’ve done it in four drafts, an improvement over my first, of which I am about to commence draft six.
I can feel my skills improving with each edit. I’m better able to visualise the story as a whole before I delve into specific chapters, phrases, words. I’ve even got a somewhat realistic hope that I’ll be able to get my third manuscript finished in only three drafts.
I don’t fool myself that it’s really really finished. I know that if an agent or a publisher picks it up, there’ll be plenty more work to do. But I’ve got it to the most polished point that I can without professional advice.
I should be happy. Ecstatic, even.
But, after racing towards this goal for the last five months, I feel strangely empty. I’d expected to feel upset to be letting it go, to saying goodbye to my characters. I am pregnant, after all. A particularly shiny teaspoon makes me teary, for Christ’s sake. But I don’t feel much at all.
I know it’s ready to go. And I’ve got my first manuscript to work on, and a clear vision of what I need to do with it. Tonight, I’m going to rest, and tomorrow morning I’m going to sleep in. I don’t know how many days I’ll take off before I get back into it.
But I do know that when the time is right, I’ll sit down with that dog-eared manuscript I sent off to Brisbane last year, and which has since travelled to Sydney, then to Brisbane again, before coming home with me to Adelaide. I’m not ready just yet, but I suspect the time will be here before I know it. I’m looking forward to it.