It’s done. I’m back. Happy Mardi Gras!
IT’S DONE!!!!! Three weeks ago I had resigned myself to the fact that it was impossible. There was too much left to write, and too little time left in which to write it. I asked a bunch of people to pray that I could get this thing completed, and then a crazy thing happened: the words just started flowing. I started churning out word-per-hour ratios that should not be humanly possible. And in the end, not only did I have time to finish it, but I even had extra time to go back and finish a few problems with the beginning. Typing the period on the last sentence at the end, a day ahead of deadline, was one of the more surreal experiences I’ve ever had. (If you’re new and have no idea what I’m talking about, you can read about the book I’ve been working on here.)
For the last few weeks I had this prayer card taped to my computer monitor so that I couldn’t see the word count, since the number kept stressing me out. I’d grabbed the first one found in my desk drawer, and laughed when I realized I’d chosen the Hail Mary. Obviously it was an appropriate prayer for the occasion, but I loved the reference to a “Hail Mary” in the sense of an insane, long-shot attempt that only has a slim chance of success.
The draft turned out well. Better than I could have hoped for, actually. (I guess that’s the advantage of having written it twice before). All along, my goal has been to write something that will leave the reader saying, “That was good. That was fun. I feel a little bit more alive for having read that.” I’m pretty sure this draft accomplishes that.
So what’s next? Allow me to use some bad clipart to elucidate the process for you:
That’s how it’s supposed to go. However, that is not my impression of how it actually works. I’ve come to see it not as a linear process that ends in a finished product, but rather as a Sisyphean wheel, a mystical circle of endless work designed to teach me about humility, detachment, and the ultimate futility of the labors of man.
I’m going to revise it and then will send it off to my agent in a few weeks. We’ll see which flowchart turns out to be accurate this time.
Anyway, tonight’s Mardi Gras promises to be one for the ages, considering that we’ll be celebrating both the last day of Ordinary Time and the end of my toil on this book. I have one day to let loose in between book writing and Lent, and I plan to make it count.
What’s been going on with you? What are your plans for tonight, and what do you plan to do for Lent?