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Friday, December 17, 2010

Giving birth

2 weeks ago I set my deadline. The first draft of the manuscript had to be finished by that particular date. It was to be finished by the 17th of December... Today it’s the 17th. And I can tell you know that hoooollllly ssshhhhmmmmoooooly.... I MADE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can’t quite believe how the past 2 weeks have unfolded since I put that date in my head. At first I didn’t know if it was possible, I didn’t know if it was too much pressure. So why apply such pressure in extreme measures? Because of the Christmas break – going to Holland for 10 days on the 21st till the 31st was bound to throw the whole flow of the book, out the window. As well, a dear travel buddy of mine, Kelly, is coming to stay this weekend and I knew I’d get too distracted if the story hadn’t completed itself by the times she’d arrive. So these 2 reasons were enough for me to put the pressure on and it worked!

Something happened and I became possessed almost. Even before the deadline, the book was already taking me more and more into its grips. It was a rare day if I was able to resist temptation and not sit down and devote some hours to it. But over the past 14 days it became even more intense. I was having more insights, panic attacks, sleepless nights and tears of despair, worry, joy and relief whilst gaining so much love for what I was going through. I had days of not wanting to speak, but still feeling I had to create a balance between the world I was creating and the world in which I was living. I had days of feeling physically distraught with achingly weak legs and sore back muscles. I had evenings where all I could do was curl up, feel yuck and sleep and sleep and sleep... and throughout these hours, again new insights would come and the cycle just kept ongoing... This was all happening in the surroundings of a relatively chaotic and exciting homely environment, with a 1-year-old precious little man bringing so much liveliness to each day. Sometimes the ‘chaos’ was enough for me to want to stay locked away, because I was scared almost for what could happen to the writing and the story that was unfolding, if I were to engage too much with everybody around me.

Anyhow. Last week, this is what was happening. I’d finished the book, Tuesday the 7th. I was a bag of joyful emotions. I wanted to scream, shout, run, jump and tell the whole world! But but but. I then started to edit on Thursday... Something came over me, I wasn’t happy with what the whole thing had become. Oh no! What to do...???? I was exhausted and had been working on the laptop for nearly 10 hours... Didn’t know if I was thinking rationally or not, but for some reason, I changed the whole thing. I took out maybe 10% of ‘snippets’, I threw them in the recycle bin (on the laptop of course...so they could be redeemed if necessary), and I went to bed, feeling sick. I felt like I’d lost something. Because the snippets I’d taken out, made the story into something different than it was actually meant to be! Friday morning, the 10th, I was terrified – at this stage I couldn’t believe how big of an effect this book was having on me. What was I scared of? Of what I could come across, when reviewing the whole story. I couldn’t remember what I’d done throughout the weeks and weeks of writing... This might sound strange, but the book takes on a life of it own and there’s such a flow going that you don’t question or look back too much - I did this once, and it wrecked my head with doubts, panic and so much upset - so it’s a matter of going and going and going.. But Friday I was terrified! Were there loopholes? Was it any good? What about my grammar? What style of writing do I actually have? Have I spoken badly of others? Have I gone too deep? Question after question.... And there’s no way to find out the answer!

I thought it was over. I thought it had all ended and I’d never get the script the way it ‘should’ be and I’d never make the deadline! But I used an open-mind and a constant reassurance that the story has already been written and the words are simply the form of communication I’m using so I can bring this baby to where it’s needed... which is THE WORLD.I kept a distance from others, for 36 hours – again afraid to take the head off everyone and to spill the disaster that I felt to be unravelling upstairs on the precious laptop that had been performing miracles for the 2 months. I stayed focused and let all expectations go, as to how the new version of my manuscript was meant to come together. And I could only say by Friday evening – which was also when I felt more to be civil and speak to Ma and Eileen about what had been going on with me - that the first 50 pages of the script, felt to be AB FAB!!!! (in my opinion..others will think differently and I’m totally fine with that!). I was still scared, up until Tuesday evening, when I’d completed the editing (for now)and realized that it all fitted together as if by magic! Yes Yes Yes... I’d gone through the whole 105.000 words and I was so ecstatic for what it had become!!!!

Then Wednesday I was brushing up on a few things. I was tempted to run through everything again. Then doubts were popping up, left, right and centre! But I thought, no! I realized I’d come to a stage in the process of writing a book, where someone from outside of myself needs to have a peak! So, me and Mam, went to the printers that afternoon where the first 2 samples were suddenly on paper. One was for me, but the other... was for publishers!!!!!!!!!! This part of the adventure leads to whole new one....It’s all so exciting!

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