Small Victories

When you finish, in a single day, a draft of the most disturbing and difficult chapter in your novel, and you’re still unsatisfied with yourself—that’s when you know you’re an overachiever. On Saturday, I did my Chris thing and I plowed through twelve and a half pages of some of the most disturbing, heartbreaking pages of my novel. At the end, I was completely drained. My intention had been to get two chapters done, or at least get the second one started, but that just didn’t happen. And I was disappointed, very disappointed.

The novel, like the flower that’s been captivating us these past few days, is now in full bloom. It’s become quite like the video game you don’t want to stop playing, or the television series you could watch a marathon of on some holiday you don’t really care about, when that’s all that’s on. I don’t want to leave it. And yet, when you work like I do, in such intense spurts, you have to let yourself step away. Because if you don’t let yourself step away, you’ll go mad.

What comforts me in times like these? That I have such an amazing story to tell, that it will be, for me, if for no one else, a book I will be able to read again and again. Never before have I come this close to producing something I could be so proud of, so content with.

This is not to say that I won’t revise it like crazy once it’s done. I will do that. I will slaughter my darlings, as I’ve been taught to do, if it is necessary. But to know that I have a foundation, such a strong foundation, to build upon—that is truly a gift.

Those pages burned me out, but they were great, phenomenal pages to write. I still hope for some time, for a few moments of inspiration, on Sunday, in which to get the next chapter started. But I’ll be content if that doesn’t happen.

Small victories, my friends. I must savor the small victories.