Off to a good start

I’ve been diverting a lot of my time and energy to working on my novel lately. I had thought, around Christmas, that I would commit to posting every day in the new year, as a way of honouring my faithfulness to writing. But then it dawned on me that my novel draft was written, and I got excited to type and revise it. And then I found out there was a novel writing contest whose deadline was yesterday, and I got excited to prepare a submission. And then I submitted, and got excited about typing and revising again.

I’ve still had lots of ideas emerge that I’d like to post about, but the novel train simply has more momentum right now. As much as I love click-clacking my words into this particular box, I don’t have any notion of where, in particular, it could take me. Meanwhile, my novel, I think, may have legs, and a destination in mind.

Immersing myself in writing in the way I have been these past few weeks has been an exaltation. At a level rivalled only by one other point of light in my life.

It’s a relief to find that exaltation in an activity that is not tied to somebody else. To be free to indulge in the majesty of it – the divinity of it – without worrying it creates a burden upon another. To be able to fully invest myself in the power of it, not needing to hold back for anybody’s sake. I have been waiting for this for a long time. Yet it was right there all along. Glaringly obvious, surely, to anyone with half a brain cell.

It gives me hope that there are other forms of exaltation waiting for me. Forms that will open and welcome me, inviting me to give myself to them in reckless abandon. It gives me hope that my life will, in fact, deliver to me all the things I have been dreaming of.

That is quite an incredible feat, and not something I expected in the first half of January 2022. But there we are.

A new world

I wrote a few months ago about how I started writing a story sixteen years ago, and how, despite thinking I was incapable of finishing it, I realised recently I had in fact written much more of it than I remembered. After that point, I decided to get serious about the story. To commit to it. And then I realised how much more work there was to do on it to get to where it needed to be. With an uneasy mixture of disappointment and determination, I resolved to complete my first book in 2022.

And then, yesterday, on the second day of 2022, I realised that, actually, I already have.

So that was a weird paradigm shift.

I have in no way completed the story. But I have passed the natural conclusion of the first book, and sunk my toes deep into the fertile soil of the second. And, contrary to what my very serious self had been telling me, I don’t need to fundamentally change that first book. I had convinced myself I needed to fit the vision of the entire story into the first book, rather than just allowing it to be what it is. But, of course, the first book has its own vision, and it declared it to me quite cheerfully over Christmas. Once I accepted that, I was able to see that it already has all the pieces it needs. It is, at its heart, complete.

So I’ve written a book. First draft anyway. Well, more of a first-and-a-half draft. Well, okay, some bits are already a fourth or a fifth draft. I started it a long time ago, okay?

I don’t know exactly how long it will take me to finish typing the fucker up, let alone buffing all the dents out. But it is clear that my timescale has drastically reduced from initial projections.

Happy New Year.