Good news, everyone! I finished my rewrites!
... of course, now comes the editing and polishing of the rewrites, but I'm giving myself a week off first. I am super happy with the way things worked out: I definitely need to sand off the rough edges, but this is much closer to the original book I had in mind in terms of themes, worldbuilding, and voice. It is also much longer, which I knew it would be, but I'm still going to chop off as much as possible.
In any case, I e-mailed Secret Agent Man and told him I'd be sending him the finished product sometime next month. I am pumped and terrified at the same time.
Every writer needs a support group, and I have a wonderful one. My friends and family have been absolutely fantastic from the get-go. There's something they always say, though, and until recently, I just thought they were being nice: "I'm so proud of how far you've come."
And I'd always think, "But I have so much left to go." I hadn't reached my goal yet, and when I thought about my progress, that was all I could see.
-- of course, that's incredibly silly. It's my dream to be a professional author, and if I can get that far, there will always be new goals. Even if I'm lucky enough to sign with Secret Agent Man, I'll still have to go out on submission. Even if I'm astronomically lucky enough to get this book published, there's still the next book to worry about. And as with any goal, I'm sure there will be unexpected setbacks and changes that need to be accounted for - few things ever turn out exactly the way they do in your head.
And that's why I decided to make a point of celebrating when the smaller goals are met. Finishing rewrites was a pretty big one, but there were all sorts of goals in-between, too. I celebrated when I got ahead of my set schedule. I celebrated if I was having a particularly tough day but I managed to write something anyway. I celebrated when I managed to pull off a tricky scene, when I nailed down an elusive plot point, or when I finally wrote out a moment that's been in my head for months. These celebrations typically just involved me, a rented movie, and some sushi, but it allowed me to take some time just to feel happy about what I'd accomplished.
I know writers are a pretty driven, self-critical bunch, but I don't think that should preclude us from feeling good about ourselves. So no matter what happens with this manuscript, I'm going to be proud of it. Because even if it isn't The One, I've learned so much from writing it!
What goals have you accomplished lately? (Non-writing goals totally count!)