It has been a long journey, full of ups and downs and all-arounds, but after nearly eleven months of late nights, stressful days, crazy schedules, slow beta readers, painful edits; after six drafts, over 13,000 words, (and probably even more cups of coffee than that), I did it.
I told my story. I wrote my book. My word, I finished my novel. It's done. Finished. Complete. It is in PDF format, and never again will I meddle with the live file.
GUYS, I FINISHED MY NOVEL! Can I get a whoop-whoop??
So, first question that you have asked: How do you feel? And the only answer I can come up with is, Um, I don't know. Normal? A little crazy? Nostalgic? Yeah, all of that, mixed with a twinge of sadness.
I know, I know. You're thinking, "She's crazy. Why would she be sad, of all things? She finished her novel!" But I am, in the deepest (and smallest) part of my heart, sad. I poured time and energy, hours of my life that I'll never get back into this novel. And you know what? I don't regret a second of it. I am so, so, so happy. I did it. I am proud of my accomplishment. I did what so few other aspiring writers do. I started something, and through it all, I finished it.
So to all you doubters, HA. I did it, despite all of your snide remarks and uncertain glances.
All you supporters, Thank You! You have all made this journey all the more memorable. You all totally rock my socks, and I want to give a shout out to you, with a big, stupid grin on my face. You are the best.
Now, the Question #2 is: Are you publishing? If so, will you go the traditional route, or try self-publishing? My answer: Sigh. This is the dreaded question. And the dreaded answer is, no, I don't think I will pursue publishing this story. Why? Because I am not confident that it is marketable in today's society.
I mean, let's be real for a second. Publishers are looking for book that are new, exciting, original. And although I know that my book is original in it's own right, I don't know that publishers are looking at what I have to offer right now. Someday, when I have made a name for myself, maybe. But right now, I'm not going to send my MS off and wait with bated breath only to get a rejection slip. And I don't plan on self-publishing because I do not have the means to do so now.
Really, this book, though I love it, though I would not have not written it for anything in the world, is just not marketable in today's society. I knew that when I started this project. That may change in the near future, but, as I said, I haven't set my sights too high. But you never know.
I may (or may not) send a query off to a couple agents, but I'm not expecting to become a New York Times Bestseller. And that's fine by me. (For now, at least.)
And finally, the last question: What now?
What, indeed. Well, I continue writing. In November, I will be participating in NaNoWriMo again, and I will bang out a rough draft for my next novel. And then the process begins all over again. But for now, I take a deep breath, maybe write a short story or two, and I wait. I deserve a little break, I think. (But it can't be too long, because I am feeling a bit stir-crazy already.) I have been enjoying doing a bit more reading than I did in these past crazy months. And I will finish planning for my next novel. I have an outline, but I'd like to review it (I wrote it back in December), maybe make it better. It's waaaay easier to fix things in the planning phase, rather than several drafts in. Trust me, I know.
It's kind of crazy to think that I don't have an open novel right now. I have just gone from novel to nothing. But now is where it gets exciting, and maybe a little bit scary. Because one chapter of my writing life has closed.
But another has just begun.