This week I submitted my final 20,000 word piece of fiction for my Masters course.
It was a long slog, and I’m not going to lie, at times I had to ask myself why on earth I signed myself up for eighteen months of voluntary suffering. Deadlines. Word Counts. Critiques.
The stuff of nightmares.
But like all things writing related, it was, and continues to be, a labour of love. Over the past year and a half I’ve managed to get down 50,000 words of my novel. Sure, plenty of it is a mess and most chapters are still in their pre-pubescent stages with lots of awkward moments and embarrassing incidents I’m sure we’d all rather forget. But some parts are okay. Some parts are more than okay.
This feeling, it is not unlike pride.
One would expect (myself included) that post submission would involve one or all of the following:
- Excessive partying
- Shredding of draft manuscripts
- Smiling stupidly at inanimate objects
- More cartwheels
Instead I partook in:
- Excessive TV series marathons
Terribly anti-climatic, I know. Mostly I feel like a superhero who’s used too much of his powers in one go and now has to recharge before the heat-vision, flight, and superhuman strength returns. And when it does I’m looking forward to getting back to it. Because writing is cool. And fun. And creative. And worth the hard yards.
I’ve met some amazing people, some amazing writers and some amazing ideas over the last eighteen months, and for that I am indebted to the course. And while I hated the deadlines, and the word counts and the occasional ripping apart of my not-so brilliant ideas, I couldn’t have done it without any of those things. My story now exists on actual made-from-trees paper! And it’s growing. And that’s kind of exciting.
Perhaps it’s time for a cartwheel or two after all?