It’s been slow progress on this book: I started it for NaNoWriMo 2012, worked on it for months, then let it simmer because I got married, moved, left my job, and started two new jobs. It simmered for a long time; I picked it up off and on while working on two other manuscripts and a series of short stories, but it was otherwise considered “shelved”. Inspired by recent global events, I felt I had more purpose in working on the book again, and a real urgency to, so I picked it up again for NaNoWriMo 2015 to do a major overhaul. The first completed NEW draft (which was very little like the previous) was finished on New Years Eve 2015/2016. I printed it, put it in a binder, and worked through the whole thing. Then I felt overwhelmed and stepped away again, working on other things. Then I picked it up again during NaNoWriMo 2016 (which is not the way to NaNo, as I understand it; I think working on the same thing for three rounds is not considered the goal of NaNo, but I wants what I wants). I made more major revisions, ones that I felt much, much stronger about, and continued working on the draft through the winter. I think the last draft was printed out over my February break, and I carried it around with me for a while, taking some time to let the dust settle before I ventured back in. More changes were made, but it’s amazing to watch it strengthen with each draft. It feels more and more like I’m finding the story that was always there. It’s exhilarating. It’s difficult. It makes me happier than any other pursuit.
So now I sit in that chair, my cat watching the rain out the window beside me, seagulls cawing in the air above the house, getting ready to click send.