Ever worked at something so hard, like sweat dripping down your face, teeth-gritting determined? And you keep pushing towards the finish line that when you finally do, it takes you by surprise? Even though it’s what you been what you’ve been working towards after so long?
My readers, as of Sunday February 19 at 9:45pm EST, I finished the first draft of my first novel. I crossed my (first) finish line.
EEEEEEKKKKK! (enter humongo grin here)
At first I didn’t know what exactly to feel. At first it was a definitely sigh of relief. Popped open a bottle of moscato and went to town! But as the elation passes, I began to think….Ok what is next?
And here is where I think many people begin to falter. Picture this: you are a toddler and you desperately want to climb to the top of the stairs. And that first step is so huge and you put so much time, effort and energy into getting up on the first step that when you do, you are elated beyond measure. You giggle, you clap your hands, you drool from excitement.
But then you look up and you see the other nine steps that you have to conquer. And it seems much higher than you remembered when you were at the bottom of the stairs! People say taking the first step is the hardest. I think continuing to keep going up the next several steps is even harder. Because it’s keeping the momentum, not letting the daunting task before you push back into stepping back down.
While I have finished the first massive step of completing my first draft comes the daunting task of going through the skeleton, putting meat and girth on, taking out the fat and keeping it lean. I would not be truthful if I said that I wasn’t sure of my abilities.
BUT….(there is always a but!)
I see my toy at the top of the stairs. It is my prized toy that I enjoy and love and desperately want. More than these inky stairs can keep me from it. And even though there are challenges on the way (losing my balance, getting distracted, seeing a so-so toy at the bottom I could have played with), I want my favorite toy.
I want my name on the New York Bestsellers List. It is mine for the taking. And take it I shall do!
In every adventure, we are all like a toddler, taking first steps to some unknown territory. And we are scared, elated, petrified, excited and downright crazy. But think about how you’ll feel when you look back to the many steps that you have taken! How you’ll gurgle with delight at your accomplishment and how you can’t wait to hear that shout of praise from Mommy or some big person that says “wow, look at what you did!”
I for one can’t wait to see how far I can step up. One thing is for sure, my aim is the top of the stairs.