Despite the misleading title, this isn't going to be a depressing post. In fact, it's actually kind of positive, in a melancholy way. Okay, here's the reason why I'm sounding so unhinged: I finished the third draft of my novel this week.
Third draft. That means I've read over this book at least five times already. I've "killed off" more characters than I ever have in my whole career. I've fought with my characters, I've forced them to do stuff they didn't want to do, and then I've turned around and deleted chapters, letting them do what they wanted to do in the first place. If you've never written a story before, it's hard to explain, but characters take on their own personalities when you write. And sometimes they just won't act the way you need them to for your story.
So anyway, I finished the third draft. I wrote thousands of new words and deleted thousands more. I should've been thrilled that I finished it. That I'm so much closer to publishing than I was before I started rewriting. But, to tell you the truth, I'm extremely lonely now. I miss Gina, I miss Joel, and I miss all their friends and adventures and mishaps. When I'm writing (or in this case, rewriting), I'm a part of the story. I'm there when stuff is going down. I laugh as I write funny scenes, and I bite my lip in anticipation when things go wrong. When I wrote one especially intense chapter, my heart beat like crazy for an hour after that, and I felt like I'd just been punched in the stomach by my ex. The story really becomes real.
Writing is such a personal thing. It's an amazing feeling when people read my book and are like, "you did so great! I loved this and this about it." But the best feeling in the world is when I'm in the zone, writing an amazing scene that not only is changing the characters but is changing me.
So I don't know if my ramblings are interesting to you at all, and I apologize if you're reading this, waiting for a good moral or my usual Christian-living type post. I've been kind of running on empty, giving my all to this new book, and I don't have much else to give. I'm sad that I'm finished with this book for now (though let's be honest, I'm going to have to go over it many more times before publishing. And I did try to dive into the next book of the series, though I felt that it was a mistake as soon as I started-- it's just too soon.) A book is a part of the author. It's our baby. And it hurts to see that baby start to grow, in a good way.
That's enough for today. I won't bore you with any more of this writer's musings. And if you reeeeally need a moral for today, here it is: I'm so grateful for books and writing, and my books and my writing. It gives me life in a whole different way than regular life does. So be grateful for the things you have. Pick up a book and read today. Go pursue that thing that gives you life. Be grateful for the little things.