5 months, 327 pages, 99,000+ words; I was understandably nervous when I sat down this weekend and began to read the first draft of my latest novel. I don't know if this common or not, apparently Hemingway did the same thing so it can't be completely crazy, but I don't go back and read what I write until it's completely finished. I write from the first word to the last, straight through, no looking back.
For me, there's no other way to do it, but it does create some anxiety when the time comes to hit print, settle down with a two inch stack of paper and try to put myself into my reader's shoes. What if it doesn't make sense? What if the style is terrible? What if the characters on the page don't reflect the characters in my head? What if *gulp* I'm disappointed?
Fortunately, my reaction to this novel couldn't be farther than these vestiges of doubt. I love, love, absolutely am in love, with this manuscript. I feel no shame in bragging now, because I know that over the next three months of revisions and edits I will beat myself up and knock myself down enough times to balance out the elation I'm currently riding on.
But for now, I'm reveling in the satisfaction that can only come from having an artistic vision and realizing that, yes, it's going to be everything you wanted. And more.