Tonight, I typed The End.
I want to do a happy dance right now, but I’m exhausted. So, I’m doing a happy finger dance and typing out this blog post.
That feeling of accomplishment that you feel the very first time you complete a story? Yeah, nothing beats it. The first time I felt that feeling was in the fifth grade. I wrote a 76-page story on lined notebook paper during recess. Yes, I was that girl. My friend, Karissa, and I each spent our outdoor playtime creating make-believe worlds instead of participating in the real one, which if I recall meant playing dodgeball.
That first story was about a lion cub that was saved from the zoo by a zookeeper and his family. It was my first “masterpiece.” I don’t know what happened to that story and I deeply regret that I can’t look back at it. Even though it was probably the worst piece of fiction anyone has ever written in the history of writing, I know now it was a freaking BIG DEAL. I wrote it because I loved writing and I had a story to tell. Too young to know about agents and publishers and book critics, I didn’t care about the things I had no control over then. I cared about writing my story. That’s it.
When I finished that story, I was so damn proud of myself. I didn’t doubt anything about it. In my mind, I had finished a book. I was awesome.
I don’t know what took me so long to try again. But now, having reached that milestone three more times, I can honestly say that typing The End feels just as good as it did back when the only person I was writing for was me. When I wrote with a No. 2 pencil on a blacktop behind an old, brick building. When I first dared to dream that I could do it—and did.