Let it be written that on 8:16 pm, eastern time, on July 2, 2008, roughly four years after he first started, Jim Cooney completed a draft of his first novel. From this point forward, "I'm writing a novel," will instead be, "I've written a novel." There is plenty left to do, but it is now, without question, a novel. It has a beginning, it has a middle, and as of this moment, it has an end.
So, Jim, how do you feel? Thanks for asking. I feel enormously grateful. Grateful that I have had the freedom, the support and encouragement necessary to see this through to completion. Writing a novel, I've realized, is not just an undertaking. It's a blessing. A lot of stars need to be aligned to make it possible, and I'm very lucky to have had the opportunity.
Of course I'm relieved, but it's a tempered sort of relief. More than I thought anyway. Perhaps this is related, but I don't feel especially celebratory yet. Maybe that will settle in slowly. Or maybe I'll do a cartwheel the second I walk out the library door. But right now I feel drained.
Truthfully, this has been a very stressful week. For a month I've been heavily invested in searching for a new apartment that will be a good fit for the upcoming year, growing more uncertain of my living situation with each passing week. Yesterday, I received an e-mail from someone I care about deeply, who is very, very angry with me (probably she will be reading this). And today, I learned that my boss has misremembered our discussion regarding my workload capacity when I go part-time, such that her current impression is that I'll be doing 50 percent more work in half the allotted time.
All of these things, I have no doubt, will work out fine. In fact, one of them already has: I found a comfortable space to live in with three lovely new roommates. But these things lumping together has made them difficult to process all at once, and my nerves are frayed. When I go several days without writing, consumed by errands piling up, or distracting life events, I get a little depressed. And when it happens so close to the conclusion, well, you can imagine how frustrating that is.
But it's finished. And I'm grateful.
How I will celebrate: My plan, simply enough, is to organize a reading of an excerpt for some friends in the area. A relaxed night with food, drinks, half a bar to ourselves, and a chapter (I have one picked out already). I'm really looking forward to that.
The Savior Complex
2 months ago