I’m savoring the moment today! I finished yet another revision of my young adult low fantasy novel, SISTERS OF AGUAMIEL. At 51,678 words, it’s a short novel that’s taken me a long time. How long? Sometimes it’s embarrassing to admit–I’ve been working on it, on and off, since 1996.
I shelved it for several years when I was in the thick of raising my two sons. I almost didn’t return to it, but the characters wouldn’t leave me alone. As I approached my 50th birthday my manuscript became a magnet I could no longer walk away from. Now, over two years later, the novel is a very different creature than when I started. And I’m so glad I gave myself the gift of completing it! Now I feel free to send it out into the world and move forward with other projects as well.
Part of my recent writing inspiration has been gleaned from a fabulous book by Nicole Gulotta– Wild Words: Rituals, Routines, and Rhythms for Braving the Writer’s Path. I can’t recommend this book highly enough. Through it I’ve strengthened my self-compassion, and have been able to see my writing life in terms of seasons. Even when I had set my manuscript aside, I was in a season of gathering ideas, filling my cup for my eventual return to finish this novel. With my evolving perspective, I now believe this story is richer because of the time it was allowed to germinate.
What is your experience with finishing a novel? Do you tend to set your work aside to let it rest? Or do you prefer to forge ahead and get to that wonderful sense of completion in one process?