I finally finished the story on which I was working. Yeah! I can breathe relief, and go back to grading papers. I started it last summer, put it away for an entire academic year, only to pick it back up this summer. The revision was brutal. It’s my least favorite part! But I’m done. Finished. (I think). I recognize that a story is never, truly finished (until, perhaps, it’s published, but even then it can always be improved somehow, someway).
So now I’m sending it out to a few places, hoping to finally get a break.
Regardless, I’m happy with it. I feel like I’ve just given birth: exhausted, in pain, but exhilarated and thrilled.
I can now devote some time to this other story, one whose idea was conceived last summer (it was a busy, creative summer!). This is a longer piece, though I’m hesitant to say I’m embarking on a novel. It’s too scary a thought right now. I have my memoir to think about, to add to. But this story just doesn’t let go of me. Wherever I turn, it’s there. The characters haunt me, asking me when I’m going to write them down. I have scribbled notes, written character sketches, and drafted a scene which I’m thinking of carving into a short story. I can tackle this one part at a time.
Maybe I’ll go back to reading John Dufresne’s Is Life Like This? A Guide to Writing Your First Novel in Six Months. There’s no way I’ll be able to write the entire thing in six months (I do have a day job and a family that compete for my time), but, maybe it’ll help me get started.
It scares the shit out of me, though. A novel. Maybe if I approach it like I did my Master’s thesis. Once section at a time. Maybe then it won’t seem so daunting.
Or, maybe I’ll go back to working on my memoir. I was about a third in before I stopped to focus on shorter pieces. Maybe.