Yesterday was a pretty intense day.
I was loving my novel, but I felt it had to be a short novel, and I was nearing its conclusion, and I was worried the conclusion would come before the 50,000 and then what would I do???
I am that kind of person. I cannot bullshit my way through anything, not to save my life. I have occasionally, very very rarely, forced myself to do it for my children’s sake, but it’s harder for me to bullshit you, or anybody, than to slap you across the face.
I couldn’t even bullshit my novel.
So, when I was around 42,000 and the novel was wrapping up nicely I started to panic a little. At the same time, I was in a month of complete joblessness and looking for work and trying to get something out of the 2 pages of very attractive nothing that is my CV.
But the ending was relatively glum, oh all right then downright sad. I couldn’t end it like that. Then, one of my daughters, one of the characters that started out inspired by people I know and very very quickly took on their own life and personalities, said to me: Hey! I’m still here! I can carry on for you! And she did, she did splendidly, my Sarah, she made me proud.
So, proudly I reached my 50039 words, ended the novel with “It was a good day” (which is a neat way of ending a novel, I reckon) and slowly felt the heat of pride and victory rising within me.
I started upstairs, I started letting it rise some more and was prepared to exult when the phone rang, and a job, a real job, possibly the first real job in my entire life (with pension and paid holidays and national tax or what have you) was offered to me. And whereas I was unsure abut that particular job up to that particular moment, the moment I said thank you and launched the phone on the bed to the slanted-ear disapproval of my startled black cat, I felt that no, this was brilliant. I was being accepted into the realms of “regular” people.
I have felt since I was a young adolescent (I adolesced very early) that I had to give a go to what I really felt was right, before I did anything else, anything “ordinary”. It didn’t matter how much I understood the concept of first working in an ordinary company, say, then, with the money set aside, do something of your own. It didn’t matter, because in the meantime I had children, friends, lovers, ideas I needed to follow there and then, in that particular here and now, not in my forties. They’d be gone, and some have indeed died, by then. I have no regrets.
So the fact that I am now entering a job (and a salary) that I could have easily started when I was 25 and straight out of University, had I not made so many chaotic and ludicrous yet wildly adventurous choices, and by now I’d probably be a purchaser for the whole Chain, travelling in expensive hotels and throughout England and trade fairs in the world, possibly already owning my own house and with kids who never wanted for anything in their whole life, doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t. I am excited to be starting this job, which basically is like the occasional job I had in trade fairs, back when I was still studying at my Italian University, without the need for the foreign language, with a little more tech and lasting more than 3-4 days. At the time I was paid around 70 pounds per day, and that was 20 years ago. I’ll be paid decidedly less per day now, and I’m not as young as I was then, but behind my smile I will be knowing that I wrote, and completed, my first novel.
So, how can I help you?
P.S. For those who asked, I will be revising and polishing the novel, then find a way to self-publish it or something. I want the story to get around, curious to get feedback. So will make it as available as I possibly can.