It’s official. I can say with certainty that I understand how Frodo felt when he destroyed the ring and declared,”It’s over. It’s done.”
Am I proclaiming I saved the world from an evil overlord thirsting to regain power? Hell to the no. I wouldn’t want the pressure and I’d rather get into trouble with Pippin. Sorry, Middle Earth! I did, however, finish my third and hopefully the last draft of PCSR.
It kind of feels like I saved the world.
Writing PCSR was a daunting task. It took guts, energy, time, and a writing schedule to keep at it. For those who know me personally, I’m terrible at the time and schedule part. As a constant critic of my work, I was bombarded by internal incessant nagging and there were days I cranked the volume of my music up to get through the perfectionist’s pointers. For some writers, this is an invaluable asset but for me, it’s exhausting.
As a writer, I’m insecure and I’m plagued with self-doubt. I take one look at a piece of writing and overthink it to death. I wonder if people will like it. I question whether I can sit down and write. I ping-pong between the belief that this is what I’m meant to do and the uncertainty in my ability to do it.
It’s the end, I think, that reveals the ways in which we’ve grown. I’m sitting here staring at 57,267 words displayed on the screen and I’m relieved. When you’re standing in the middle of your journey, it’s hard to see which way you’re going. This can’t be truer than when it comes to writing. With PCSR, I feel proud of what I’ve accomplished. I read through a couple of the chapters and I’m overcome with a series of emotions: happiness, excitement, anxiety, relief, pride, and the anticipation of the steps to come.
The work of a writer is never truly finished and I strive to push forward, even when I’m not sure of the direction. It’s no easy feat to tell your inner critic to suck it or to allow your characters to take on a life of their own, giving them free reign to deviate if it feels natural for them. Writing is about dialogue. It’s having breakfast with your characters and getting a sense of who they are. It requires effort, energy, and the capacity for acceptance in who they are. Truthfully, it’s no different than getting to know someone in real life and writing about it.
It’s been a long year of writing PCSR and there’s more to come around the bend. For now, however, I’m going to pat myself on the back and enjoy this brief reprieve.
I’m going to pause and breathe.