Reaching The End

I’ve reached the end.  My newest WIP is complete and marinating before its edit.  Fall, with its chill winds and splendid show of changing leaves, has replaced the warmth of summer.  On Saturday, Eldest will perform his final marching band show, rounding out his sixth season.

The End.

Sometimes those words are bittersweet.  Sometimes they are just bitter.  Rarely do I look back on them and feel sheer untainted joy.

The End.  My baby is growing up.  I’m no longer allowed to pamper him and smother him and do everything for him.  I’m no longer allowed to act on my motherly impulses, but rather, I’m in a place where he is in control of his new beginning.  I’ll cry this weekend.  No doubt about that.

I’ll cry for everything he’s accomplished and for everything he has yet to do.  I’ll cry for every missed moment and for every mistake I’ve made while raising him.  I’ll shed tears for the baby he’s left behind and the stunning young man he has become.

Even while I know the end is not final, it is a chapter closed.  One I will never get back, save for the memories and photos I have.

In the same way, finishing a manuscript feels final.  Yet, unlike raising a child, it is a chapter we get to read many times.  It is an opportunity to fix our mistakes and change the outcome to be stronger, better, healthier, more satisfying.

~the end~

Or, is it really just the beginning?

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12 responses to “Reaching The End

  1. Sniff. Sniff. Tears. Thanks for making me tear up. At work.

    Its just the beginning. Life is one amazing adventure after another. In the moments we can’t see them, its only in the stories we tell afteward that the greatness of the adventure becomes apparent.

    • Sorry : (

      Your words are so true and encompass everything that is precious about life and a great novel. Are your sure you’re not a writer?

      Hugs, and thanks for sharing so many chapters with me and my family.

  2. Yah, I know there is an end to every manuscript. Nevertheless writing is all one long journey. And you decide to pick it up at different points. Yes, there is a physical end: when the Lord takes you although someone out there will pick up your loose threads. And that is the way it always has been.

    • Hi, Siggy.

      Thanks for these words of truth. The end is never as final as we believe it to be. It is simply a time to move forward to the next stages–whether on our own or via those we leave behind.

      Hugs~

  3. Enjoy that last concert. It’s so hard and so exhilerating to watch those endings. Be proud of him, and of you!

    I agree with the bittersweet – it’s a joy to type that last line, and terrifying how much there is still to do!

    • I will try, Jemi. If I can see it through the tears.

      Sometimes I wonder, that if we knew as writers penning our first novels that the end was really just the beginning of a very long and difficult journey, how many of us would actually even start? My guess is far fewer than do. While completing a manuscript is incredibe by itself, getting it submission ready is like climbing Mount Everest without any gear. But, it is a process I love.

      hugs~

  4. It’s not the end, it’s only the beginning! (of the end?)
    Actually I’m now working on something I “finished” last NaNoWriMo and thought I’d never touch again.
    But I re-read it a while ago and realized it’s brilliant and just needs some polish.
    So put your baby down for now, and in a few months reading it fresh you’ll figure out what it needs.
    Congrats!

    • Thanks, Andrew. I did that with my NaNo09. Finished it. Thought it was garbage. Put it in a drawer the second I typed “the end” and didn’t pull it out until a year later. Turns out, I actually had something.

      I love coming back fresh and always write somthing else in between the WIP and E(dit)IP stages. And read tons. This also helps get me centered and ready for editing.

      Hope your NaNo10 turns out shiny and awesome. Will you be NaNoing this year as well?

  5. Finishing a manuscript is bittersweet. A wonderful sense of accomplishment and at the same time a let down….like, what do I do now?
    My babies are still my babies, whether they like it or not. And congratulations to your eldest. Being part of a marching band is in itself a wonderful accomplishment and something he’ll never regret.
    p.s. I like the new look of your blog.

    • Totally get the “now what?” feeling. That’s why I read between projects.

      It’s hard to let go of those babies. Our methods change, but our love and protectiveness never does.

      P.S. Thank you. I struggled to find a new template I really liked. I think this has more user-friendly features than my last one.

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