Hellooo. Wow I didn’t ever imagine that I’d take a 2 year break from the blog, but yikes. Life happened.
How are you? Does anyone still read this blog? I have no idea but I’ll pretend there’s someone out there who does. I don’t blame you if you gave up on me and moved on. I almost did too.
I’ve thought about this blog a lot in the past 2 years; I often planned to come back and start posting, but alas, life just kept getting in the way. But something happened yesterday that made me inspired to login to this dusty old blog. It was something that made me want to shout from the rooftops and share the news with everyone. And the old version of doing it, back before I shared things on Insta, was this blog. So it felt filling to finally return to here and share my news.
Now that I’ve built it up to be something way more exciting than it is, here it is: I finished the first draft of my fifth fiction manuscript.
I know, it’s not that exciting since there’s nothing to show for it, but it’s a huge personal achievement for me and I felt like documenting my feelings about what it felt like to finally finish. It took me almost 2 years to write it, but it has lived in my head for maybe 15 years now. It’s crazy.
Last night when I wrote the last words, I burst into tears as emotions overtook me. I couldn’t believe that I was here, that I had arrived at the moments and words that I had imagined and envisioned for almost 15 years now. When this story first appeared in my mind and lived in my head for all those years, the beginning and the ending were the only known things. There were snatches of the middle that I knew in those early teen years, but the end was clear to me as day.
So why did it take me so long to write it? You could even say that I’ve been working on it for 15 years and that’s a long time to keep something in your mind. In those years I wrote 3 other stories, since I wasn’t quite ready to tackle this one. The story hadn’t revealed itself to me.
But 2 years ago, I applied and got into Humber’s writing program and it seemed the perfect time to dive into this story that I’d been living with for years. It was still the pandemic and it seemed like the perfect time to focus on my writing. I started the program in September 2021 and worked with my helpful mentor until April 2022. I was almost done then (or so I foolishly thought), and felt like I was in a good place when the program ended in April.
But only 2 months ago, I had returned to work part-time, after not working for many years. I started off supply teaching in a private school close by, and then shortly after got a job in my local library part-time. I was working 2 part-time jobs, while also juggling family life, while also trying to finish writing the dang thing.
Like I said, I thought I was done, but then in June I applied for a Library Programmer role and got it and that’s when life changed. I’d never worked full-time, except if you count my time as a Walmart cashier. Suddenly life became a whole lot busier and crazier. This blog took a backseat, like so many things did.
Summer was super crazy as I adjusted to my new role and also trying to get back to life post-covid. The story and the blog just kept sliding further and further down my to-do list. I kept coming back to the story, but I wasn’t able to give it the time it deserved.
In the Fall, I realised I’d had enough of ignoring my writing. I decided to do something about it. I started bringing my laptop into work with me every day. I allotted myself 15 to 20 mins to eat and then 40 to 45 mins to write. It was an ambitious plan and some days it didn’t happen. Sometimes I was too mentally drained from work to turn on my laptop, choosing instead to drown myself in my current read. But it happened more often than it didn’t, and with my few drops in the bucket, it became an ocean of words and I inched closer and closer to my goal.
Of course I had setbacks; there were weeks when my daughter was sick and home more often than at school, which upset the entire routine. And then weeks when I got sick or just ruts of busy periods. But I kept trucking along, breathlessly, until March 16th when I finally wrote those final words.
I had originally planned on a goal of 120,000 words but as usual, I found I had more words in me than I realised. I kept going and going and the final count is 150,000. It’s a monster.
The real work starts now of editing. I know it needs to be chopped down a lot and there are lots of things that need to be reworked. But for now, for today, I’m going to enjoy this small victory since I know how hard it was to get here.
I’m excited to dive back into the beginning of the story, chapters I haven’t read for many months, and see how to trim things down and make them better.
In other news, Ramadan starts next week and it will be a major time of self-reflection and change. Maybe I’ll return here for more recipes and life updates.
Till then, thanks for reading,