Yesterday was October First, and I love firsts like I love fall. So you can imagine how my sensibilities explode when it’s a first within fall. Michael says this is the month I’m going to finish writing my current novel. He said that last night when I was cooking supper and he was using my laptop to watch hunting videos and I was all, “It’s okay, I don’t need my computer anyway, because I’m NEVER going to finish this book EVER.” And then he said, yes you will, you’ll finish it by the end of October. And the thing is, he’s totally right. I’m crazy close to the end of the first draft. Crazy, happy close.
When I wrote my memoir, the first draft was a breeze. Well, not a total breeze. I had to stay up late, late, late after the transcription was done and the kids were in bed and even Michael had disappeared into the bedroom. But it was basically like writing this blog as far as content goes. It was my story – what happened, how I felt, and what other people did. It was the revision that stressed me out on the memoir. Can you imagine revising life? It’s weird. You have to put all the little stories that you’re dying to tell into some kind of flow that will make people care. You have to remove really cool stories because – in the words of all the DVD commentaries on deleted scenes that I own and actually watch – they just don’t progress the story. It’s weird, revising life. And not really the funnest part.
However, with fiction I have found the first draft so grueling. The guts! The sheer guts it takes to look at a blank page and go, “Yeah, I totally have words for this paper that will make publishers swoon and readers rejoice. I’m that good.” Try it sometime. And you shall understand why pushing myself to finish the first draft of my first novel has been perhaps the bravest thing I’ve ever done. With this book, I’m dying to get to the revisions. I can’t WAIT to revise this novel. Because, unlike with my own life, I can revise the heck out of my main character’s life. I’m going to change her age, her best friend’s name. I’m going to move scenes around so there’s an inciting event in the beginning and slower-moving back story after that. I’m going to put her in any clothes I want, in any situations that will move along her story, and surround her with any people I need to in order to have the right amount of tension and entertainment. I cannot wait.
That’s what I’ll be doing this month. While also reveling in parade weather and the month solely responsible for the beginning of the tag I call, Being Mama. I’ll wear my new long sweaters and when I step outside on cool, rainy days like today with actual wet leaves falling and crunching beneath my feet, I will shiver with that delicious, cozy, cool-nights-warm-fireplace kind of feeling that October always brings.
I adore you, October.