So I finished the first draft, and posted to let people know, and several of you bounced up and down in my comments box and my email inbox, whooping and congratulating me.
'Does it feel good?' asked lovely blogfriend JJ.
I remember the first time I finished the first draft of a book. That felt amazing. This time, I just felt flat.
I think there are a number of reasons for this. Having taken the previous version through six drafts, I'm well aware of the amount of work that is still to be done (although this time, I think largely due to my wonderful mentor's input, I reckon I can finish it in four). I am pleased to have reached this milestone, and I think the next draft will be more fun, because I much prefer editing - crafting the story to make it as good as I can - to churning out the words in the first place. But I'm still struggling with my writing. Writing is often difficult, but I don't mind difficult; often I enjoy it. I'm not sure why I'm struggling at the moment. Yesterday, I took several hours to come up with the bones of a short story, and that's unusual.
It could be that I'm struggling because my skills are improving and I'm in a period of adjustment. That would be good. Or it could be because I'm a little weighed down with other things - my Paramour's ongoingly high stress levels; insufficient paid work; being a bit under the weather myself just now. That wouldn't be surprising. Either way, I know I have to write on through this.
And, although I am a little weighed down, I'm not hugely miserable or depressed or anything. My problems are temporary; generally, life is fine; and there are some really good bits. In fact I'm going to have a lovely weekend: I'm doing dinner for eight of us tonight, then tomorrow my Paramour and I are going to stay overnight with dear friends, and on Sunday the new neighbours are coming round to see our house and drink wine and eat pizza. And I'm not going to do any writing at all!