I finished the first draft of the first book in my Romi series yesterday. Rather unexpectedly.
I have been working at Romi more and more lately, trying, reaching for that final moment where I found the last words of my first draft. I had it planned out, of course, but the last six words left my mind and travelled through my fingertips, appearing on the screen so organically, I was surprised. The words stared at me once they were written and I stared back at them for a moment, wondering if they were really it. I’m not sure if these words will remain the ending to this book. The ending I wrote could be horrible and may very well change. But as it stands today, it is written. When I wrote the final words to Letters to the Mountain, I saw them coming before I had them typed. The story I had embarked on that ends that book made me excited as I wrote it. As I wrote Romi’s ending, I felt calm and very satisfied. I took it as a sign to call it the ending and leave it. For now.
The story behind this picture forms the ending to my first book, Letters to the Mountain.
When I’ve talked to Brad about the approaching end to Romi's first draft, he has been the ever supportive, number-one-fan, positive husband (some say that I was too nice in my portrayal of Brad in my memoir. I’ll leave that up to those that know him to comment … or not ;).). In response to his encouragement, I’ve gotten a bit defensive. Okay, probably a lot defensive. There’s still a lot of work to be done, Brad. The editing process is no joke, Brad. But today at dinner, when I told him that I had written the last words of the first Romi book, he reminded me that it’s okay to celebrate the little milestones that come along the way. Sure, there are scenes left to write, re-writes to be done and endless hours of editing to prepare my book before approaching publishers and agents with the story of Romi James, paralegal.
Today I wrote the 107,299th word in my first book that I want the world to see. Writing this fictional story has been so different than when I wrote my memoir. Letters to the Mountain was more of a cathartic experience, of getting my words, my story, out. Down on paper. Recorded forever. Off my shoulders. With this book, I am excited to create these characters, to tell Romi’s story and create something to go down in the books.
There are a lot of other reasons that this book is so special to me. I have been working on it with my writing group at The Writer’s Studio. I wrote 50,000 towards this book during National Novel Writing Month last November. And something that may be obvious, but has come as a surprise to me both times I’ve done it: I’ve created an entire book from absolutely nothing but a blank page.
I’m so proud of myself. And I wanted to share that with you.
I’m not going to share an excerpt today, though I thought about it. Today, I’m just going to take a moment to be proud of myself. There may be an unknown amount of work and writing ahead of me, but today is about celebrating the small milestones.
And maybe thinking about how I can apply that to all of the different areas in my life.
Think about it for yours, too.
Celebrating the first draft,