I’ve been an emotional wreck the past few days. I’ve known my manuscript was coming to the end, and I hesitated to finish it. When I finally wrote “The End” yesterday, it was like a huge weight shifted inside me, moving from my chest to my gut. I could breathe for the first time in weeks, but I had an overwhelming feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach.
I mean, it’s done, but it’s terrible. It’s redeemable, of course and I certainly don’t hate it, but it’s terrible in its current state. That’s why the writing gods invented editing and rewrites. I will love it – eventually. It’s getting to that ‘eventually’ that’s terrifying.
I told myself that today would be my day off – I would let the manuscript sit, as is, for a solid day before I even thought about looking at it again. And then I promptly opened the file and started editing. Well, not actual editing, but making notes about what I want to edit later. Which totally counts as editing.
So I’ve basically been crying since before I started writing yesterday. First, it was the anniversary of the Challenger accident, and I always get weepy when I think about that. (I’ve talked about it before, but I can’t seem to find the link.) Then I finished my book. Then I got an earworm that stuck with me all day and made me cry every time I caught myself singing it. I started playing video games, but the game I picked was so ridiculously, needlessly hard, I got frustrated and started crying. I finally gave up and went to bed – where I thought about all the stuff that had made me cry all day.
I cried so much yesterday, I woke up with a headache this morning. The only good thing that has come from all this crying happened this morning while I was ‘not editing’. I was feeling pretty emotionally drained, but when I got to the really sad part I got a little teary. Not full on sobbing like when I wrote it, but enough to let me know that I might have made it work. That was a great feeling. It makes me think that I’ve conveyed the emotion on the page, that my words will make readers have an emotional response (other than wanting to throw my book across the room).
The point, I guess, is that the book is done. As huge and emotional as that is, tomorrow I have to get up and go on. I have to edit. I have to write and rewrite. But this one… This one, I think, will eventually be great. Fingers crossed.