The light at the end of the tunnel.

top of the world

Inspiring photo by Tormod Ulsberg (Creative Commons)

I have been sitting here for 5 long minutes, listening to my happy song (above), wondering how to channel my feelings into a string of words that will translate my current emotions truthfully. But upon reflection, nothing ever will so here it is, as blunt as can be : I finished my novel!

Whoa. The single action of typing this down makes my heart swell. I mean… I have been working on this first draft for a year. It started off as an utterly different plot but slowly, I found my voice and shaped a story that, I will admit, I feel particularly proud of. I have jumped with joy at the discovery of an unexpected twist. I have stared at the blinking cursor for longer than I care to admit. I have traded sleep, quiet showers and meditative walks for impromptu plotting and character building. And although there are many more of those to come until it really is the end, I feel positive.

success-image

I remember when the idea of this novel sprung in my mind. It wasn’t like the other 4-5 novels I have started and never finished. The feeling was different. Somewhere inside of me, I knew I would see it through.knew I was ready to commit to – dare I say – the biggest project of my life. Am I exaggerating? I can’t be sure. There is only one achievement that may steal first place and this is my bachelor’s degree.

A few months ago, I remember reading about the 5% rule on Kristen Lamb’s blog. In her post, boldly entitled “What Are The REAL Odds Of Being A Successful Author”, Kristen writes the following:

… of the hundreds of thousands, how many who start writing a book will actually FINISH a book? How many will be able to take their dream seriously enough to lay boundaries for friends and family and hold themselves to a self-imposed deadline?

Statistically? 5%

I have meant to refer you to this post for months but I felt like I had to finish my novel first. Because now, I can say – I am part of this 5%. I made it into the elite team! I am only beginning my writing journey and I probably can’t even imagine where it will take me but I know this for sure, I finished what I started… kind of. I finished Draft 1. Because now, it is time for the editing to begin. Now, it is time to make this story whole.

And I couldn’t be more excited… (and a little more terrified).

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25 responses to “The light at the end of the tunnel.

  1. Bravo! Bravo! Bravo! I can feel your excitement and satisfaction, and I’m delighted to be a bystander. As a dabbler, I know what a major major major achievement this is. I love your success diagram (the reality one), and your ebullience. Enjoying the editing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so, so much!!! I am still a little dazed, if I’m honest… I’m off on a 10-day trip up the mountains in a couple of days and I hope this will be a great ‘in-between’ moment to reflect upon the 1st draft and draw inspiration to carry on!
      Thanks again for your encouragement!!!

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  2. Wooah great! I can feel exactly what you mean by this and how overwhelming you must be feeling right now because i know its such a great feeling. I finished my first draft just this weekend after spending 10 long months and motivating myself to do it and now when its complete at least once I am in seventh heaven. Congratulations 😤 to you. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So happy for you! Take your time enjoying this feeling of completion and achievement. There’s noting else like it. It’s all out there now, something solid and concrete to work with. But let it wait awhile.

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    • Thank you! I’m off up the mountains for 10 days, I think it’s perfect timing. It’s been one day and I can already see my story under a different light. So, so excited to make it whole!

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      • I hadn’t listened to your “happy song” before replying, but now that I have I had to say that his recording of Over the Rainbow has long been one of my favorites (Louis Armstrong’s version is my other favorite.) Anyway, I so enjoy the music you share here. We seem to have a common ear.

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      • I’m really glad you like it. I think I am leaning learns this version more but can’t really explain why.
        We do seem to have a common ear. Music is so inherent to my posts that I’m considering some new kind of way to publish my novel with a soundtrack! (I haven’t, really, but it has crossed my mind…)

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  4. There are few posts that conjure up such a visceral response from me. When I began listening to “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”, and reading about your accomplishment, I was moved to tears. Congratulations! Be proud. Remember though, you are not at the finish line yet.

    On the weekend I wrote about climbing one of the local mountains (on my bike) totally unprepared. It was hard work. I wanted to stop and head back down frequently, but I persevered. When I finally reached the top, it was exhilarating. It felt more rewarding because it wasn’t easy to do. You have another great moment waiting.

    I can’t wait to read your novel !!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you!!! :) This song is so mellow and dreamy… A fantastic musical reflection of how I feel.

    I’ll have to read that post. I’m not surprised you persevered and you are right, the reward tastes sweeter when it’s hardly earned. As a frequent hiker, I know the exact feeling.

    Hey, October is fast approaching, right? I’ve got work to do. ;)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Congratulations! It’s an amazing feeling finishing that first draft.

    The editing is where I have gotten stuck. I plan on getting unstuck this summer.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Congratulations. I am writing my first novel too, here’s hoping I might be where you are one day. Huge love and respect. Oh and let me know what is about after it’s all shiny and good and ready to go. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

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