It’s done. I’ve officially turned in my first 11,558 words. I feel relieved and accomplished and a little bit nauseous. I also know I will be anxious until I get feedback from my professor. The good news: even though this is technically my final for this class, I still have time to fix things before turning the whole thing in as my master’s thesis in January. But I still get nervous turning in things like this. And I’m right on the border of an A and A-, which isn’t that big of a deal, but I’ve gotten almost straight As in grad school, and I don’t want to ruin it now.
This entire assignment was a big challenge for me. I’ve mentioned a few times my struggles with creative writing, so getting to this point is kind of a big deal. It was honestly harder than I was expecting, and I gained a new respect for my favorite writers. Finishing just this part of my novel was unquestionably the hardest thing I have ever done academically. If writing it was like pulling teeth, editing it was like hitting myself in the head repeatedly with a mallet. I am physically exhausted, and this was only about a tenth of my goal word count.
I had always planned to take a few days off after turning this in, but I didn’t think I’d need it that much. And I’m dreading the rest of this process more than ever. Don’t get me wrong, I am excited to get my masters and finish my first novel. It’s awesome that I get to do those things simultaneously. But it’s not like I have a year or two in which to do it. As of yesterday, I have exactly three months to not just write an entire novel, but also edit it, and turn in a publishable quality work. To say that I’m freaking out is a bit of an understatement.
So I’m taking two or three days to decompress and finish the two minor assignments I have left for this class. Then, I’ve got to get writing. My goal is to finish a solid draft by the end of November (I will probably participate in NaNoWriMo, because I’ll be writing that much anyway), and then use December to edit. And edit some more.
Right now, I’m going to go read a book. And probably drink a lot of pumpkin beer.
P.S. I am working on a post all about the writing tips that were most helpful to me during this process, so stay tuned for that! It’ll probably be up sometime in the next week.