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on the power of showing up

note: I wrote this post in April of 2019 (pre-COVID). It's been sitting in my drafts for quite a while, but I think it's time for it to see the light of day. It's been helpful for me to reread over the past few months, especially as I continue to try to make an effort to write, and I hope it can be helpful to you, too. i got an invite to a writers' group a few months ago, and i had never felt like more of a fraud in my life. it had been months, if not years, since i'd felt like a writer. the proverbial well of words in my heart had dried up, it seemed, and i wasn't sure if it was ever coming back. i agreed to go out of a sense of helplessness—i'd identified as a writer ever since i could remember. if i'm not a writer, who am i?  i told myself that it was important to show up and act like a writer even when i didn't feel like one, because even though i hadn't been writing, i reassured myself, i still was a writer. but sometimes the words f

Well, That Was Weird

Two days ago, I finished my first rewrite. And, I'm still not quite sure what happened, but I'm here to say that I finished another book... ?!?

Okay, here's what happened. After finishing Because I'm Irish, I felt fresh wind in my sails. I started working on The Angel Novel. But in the back of my mind, I couldn't stop thinking about Petrichor. It was at 96,000 words and so close to the ending. I have apparently become a.) *cough* addicted to the high I get when I finish novels and b.) tired of having novels so close to being finished and yet not.

Of course, I decided to finish it in one day, like the ridiculous person I am.

I figured out, finally, how I could end it. I ended up writing a quick ending with lots of fast-paced, unexpected twists. I killed a minor character and injured some others. I messed stuff up. And, ultimately, I typed the last words of this ridiculously long 100,000 word book. (Writing a book of 100,000 words was something I always wanted to do, so I guess that's cool. But editing will be awful.)

Aaand to be honest, I'm not completely sure how I feel about it. Like, I'm glad I finished it, but it feels weird. My emotion is this:

I'm not satisfied with the ending, but as a whole, I'm not satisfied with the novel. I love the characters and I can see their potential, but there's a lot of stuff I need to fix and take out first in order for my babies to really shine. When I read back over it, I kept wanting to start editing right away. But I knew I couldn't edit it until there was an ending. I also knew if I took more than one day to write the ending, I'd chicken out and it wouldn't get done. So I blazed through it. I wrote 4,000 words in Petrichor (and 3,000 words in The Angel Novel. I have no idea why I decided to write so much).

But the point is, I ended it. On July 16th, sometime after midnight, with a total of 100,346 words, I finished Petrichor!

stats (for posterity's sake!)

started: November 1, 2013
finished: July 16th, 2015
final wordcount: 100,346
final pagecount: 296

Sadly, this post is not as cool or helpful as my last one. I don't have any writing advice or anything (except that sometimes you have to put down some kind of ending and sometimes your writing does stuff you didn't expect and writing is WEIRD, man). I just wanted to post here to mark this day down in my writing history. I've been pretty open about Petrichor here on my blog, so it's really unbelievable to announce that it's finally done! Now what will I do with my life? Actually, I know. If you'll excuse me, I'm going to go sleep for a week.

How's your writing going? Have you ever done something you did not expect?


  1. Okay. First of all I want to give you a big huge CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!! on finishing your rewrite of Because I'm Irish. I know that was your child and I'm just ridiculously happy for you that you've kept plugging along and turned it into something even more beautiful. Rewriting is HARD, and I am just in awe at your dedication.

    Secondly, WHAAAA??? YOU'RE AMAZING. You JUST finished a big rewrite and then dive in and write even more and finish another book? GIRL YOU'RE AMAZING!!! You are such an inspiration! You're right, sometimes you just gotta sit down and WRITE it, no matter how it turns out. After all, we can't edit and turn something beautiful if there's nothing there. That's a reminder I need often. My perfectionist self gets in the way a lot. <.<

    I AM SO SO SO SO SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!! Yes, go get that sleep! And keep being amazing. <3

  2. Woohoo, congratulations! You're doing a lot of amazing writing, and I might not always comment on myWriteClub, but you are totally rocking it. Keep writing and stay awesome!

  3. Wow congrats! :D That's a big accomplishment! I just recently finished microediting my steampunk fantasy and I begin going over my beta feedback tonight! So exciting!

  4. Congratulations! That's awesome ;)

    I have a series of three 100,000+ behemoths that I am *avoiding* rewriting because it's such a commitment! I started the first one in 2004, and I finished the last one (rough drafts) 6 years later. The silly thing was, the ultimate ending changed from my outline at least five times, and then I ended up with something ridiculously different. And honestly, that ending is one of the things I think I won't change in my edits (they'll happen someday). Endings are so hard to get just right (especially when you read so many books with endings so perfect you could cry).


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