I can't remember what we ate. I wish I could because it would have made a nice second sentence in this blog post. But we ate at home and it was probably not-so-spectacular, as Tuesday nights tend to go. And I probably overcooked it, if we was really business as usual.
Then Garrett and the kiddos went upstairs for the evening. I did the dishes, swept the floor, made a pot of decaf coffee, and opened the laptop around 7:00.
And at 8:30, I closed the laptop and leaned back in my chair.
I had just finished my book.
30 months from start to finish.
200,000 words. (over half of that cut at some point.)
A lot of late nights and early mornings.
It was done. That was it.
I went upstairs and sat in Garrett's office. We stared at each other, marveled that we made it, and then I read him the new ending.
In the time since then, I've done a lot of important things.
I woke the next morning, woke at my usual writing time, and started working on a new book.
I made hot chocolate for this little band of snow fort builders.
I went grocery shopping. Several times probably.
I read stories that turned into silliness all around.
We built snowmen.
It's a funny feeling, this reality that I finished my book. That somehow that whole corner of my mind feels different, but this wide world of my life is still the same.
It's been hard to bring up, honestly. And I've wrestled with how to even talk about it here. It feels like an achievement, but in the realm of actually producing a book, it's kind of a small step. An important one, I'd say, but just the first step on a long road that seems like a lot of scary steps.
And so what am I doing now? Well, I started writing something new which has been so fun, so wonderful to not be in Macy's head and be in Ren's instead.
I've found a few people to read the draft and had some feedback.
I've chickened out sometimes and not actually sent the draft when I said I would. Something about it being out there, something about the waiting for feedback...it makes me feel so exposed. But in the end I sent it, mainly because my friend laughed at me and told me to man up. (Thanks, Nicole!)
I read this article and found some good direction.
But mainly I've just lived my every day life, tried to be grateful that I stuck it out, praying about what's next, and trusting God in each step.
It's been sweet and scary and morale-boosting and fear-inducing. But such is life, such is the reality that small victories, though hard fought, don't really replace any insecurities or make us whole.
But those victories can make us grateful- for the people who cheered and the hours that were there and the joy that came from putting words on paper. And the knowledge that, through this venture, I found myself a little bit. Through the process of writing and daring and pushing through, I feel like I am more me. And that is so, so worth it.
A special thanks to my husband for being supportive in every way imaginable, to my family who were subjected to early drafts that probably weren't ready to be shared, and to my friends who keep asking and hoping that a book will be born. Thanks to you, however you've helped or read or prayed or endured me lamenting this project.
And for you- I hope if there is something that seems bold or crazy or just plain out of reach, I truly hope there is someone in your life that will say to you, "You got this."
And I hope when they say that, you will believe them and live like it's true.
Have a great Friday, friends.