A Novel Lesson

When I embarked on the mission of writing a novel I never realised that I would end up changing as person because of it.  Since I was young I have always dreamed of one day writing a novel and last year with my thirtieth birthday looming on the horizon and an idea rattling around inside my brain I finally sat down and did it.  Four months on I had finished the first draft of my novel and had no idea what to do next.

That brings me to the next 10 months.  In that time I have picked it up and put it down umpteen times.  I have crossed out full stops and later reinstated them.  I have changed words once, twice and more.  All the while in the back of mind the words ‘it’s impossible to polish shit’ have lingered.

Now I am full of doubts and self loathing.  Today I wrote what is essentially the last new scene.  The creative element is officially complete.  There will be no more new scenes, or paragraphs or anything else for that matter.  I feel a mixture of sadness tinged with fear.  The fear that I have wasted a great deal of time over the last year.

I told myself at the beginning of this process that I would complete it before I am 30.  I will be 31 in just under half a year.  I also promised myself that once I complete this I will join the adult world and stop living in my imagination.  I am not entirely sure what that entails or how exactly one goes about doing something as brave and reckless as that but I am sure there is a self help book I can purchase on the Internet.  A little voice in my head keeps asking me whether that is why I have stretched out and stalled this process for as long as possible.  That it is merely an extension of my immaturity.  Maybe it’s right.  Maybe I have.

What I do know is that come rain or shine I do not regret my attempt to write a novel.  I have learnt many things about myself.  The most important being a sense of pride in the fact that I have stuck at something and now the end is in sight.  Shame it took me thirty years and eighty thousand words to learn it.

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