I typed THE END last week. Then I wrote it in my scratchy pen on my scene tracker. Then I nearly cried. I texted my sister, my mum, Jane (of Writing Retreat fame). My sister was the first to come back with, ‘you must drink champagne immediately.’ Unusually for us, there was none chilled, but that was soon rectified.

I’m a little under the word count I was aiming at, but the story had reached its conclusion, so I decided there was no point in punching out scenes to hit the 100,000 word mark. In most cases, at least the bits that will survive the chop, it is underwritten. And anyway, I don’t really care, because the words have to serve the story, and the story is going to be as the story is. I’m feeling like I’m sounding like Forest Gump.

How did it feel? Oh… oh so strange. THE END. I hadn’t even thought about writing that (so clichéd), but when I’d wrapped it all up, I was compelled to finish like that. I did nearly cry. Mostly, I just sat and stared at the screen, feeling overwhelmed. It was like a big fog swirled around me, and then out of the wispy feeling, I was aware that I felt very grounded, and very proud. Right in the centre of me, this very tangible feeling, like a strength. I think this was the sense of achievement, a kind of wonder, but in a solid way. It’s light and substantial at the same time. I’m not sure that this is making any sense, but I’ll resist the temptation to edit. It is what it was (cue Forest Gump again).

What excites me, not only having achieved a massive goal in my life… Hey. I’ve written a novel! It’s a long way short of publishable standard, but I’ve stuck it out! Get back on point, what excites me is the idea of making it better. I am so looking forward to the first cut, which I will plan out in the next couple of weeks. Jane and Kath, the wallpaper is coming out, but perhaps more of that when I live the technique. Structure next, and then the pruning and polishing can begin.

For now, I’m just living the dream. I have achieved something really quite substantial.