One of the things I love about writing is making a vision come to fruition. The scene that closes chapter 10, which I wrapped up last night, is one that has been in my head for nearly a year. In that time, I’ve mulled over it, replayed it, reconsidered it from different angles, and obsessed over it to the point that it was like a splinter in my brain. I needed it written down, but I’m very much a linear writer. I have to write scenes in the order they will appear in the story, and if I jump forward, I feel lost and out of control. So I’ve had to be patient to get to this scene.
Now, it’s written, and while I’m certain it needs polishing, I really hope the impact of it is as good as I’ve imagined. The way it appears in my head gives me goose bumps, but getting that to translate onto the page is not always easy. It’s one of the challenges of writing that drives some away and keeps some of us coming back. Personally, I love the challenge of finding the right words, of sculpting the scene until the pacing is just right. My fellow writers can probably relate.
It’s hard to convey the feeling of accomplishment as I complete this manuscript. It began two and a half years ago. It seems that each book has had its own set of hurdles that I’ve had to overcome in order to complete them. In the middle of book one, my oldest son was born and both of my paternal grandparents passed away, so I had to set aside the manuscript for 5-6 months while I dealt with those events. Personally, I can see the seam, but few others can. During book two, I was working two full-time jobs and racing against the birth of Finn. I knew if I didn’t complete it before he got here, I never would, so despite complete exhaustion, I somehow found the strength to sit at the computer every night until the draft was finished. Now, with book three, I’ve gone through a divorce, a career change, an economic meltdown, an emotional breakdown, a return to education, and a struggle to get to my feet. Somehow, through all of that crap, I’ve managed to complete about 75% of the book, and only death will keep me from completing the final 25%.
While I’ve given up hope of ever seeing financial success from writing, my resolve remains to complete this series and make it something that my sons can be proud of. It’s hard to explain, but losing all hope for my future has given me tremendous freedom to focus more on the quality of what I say. I don’t know how to describe it, really, but there’s a freedom in hopelessness that I didn’t know when I was focused on the future. I’ve always been so focused on and so driven by my ambition that the misery of today wasn’t important. Now, I’ve accepted the misery and quit trying to overcome it.
I just hope book three is as good to others as it feels to me.