I'm not dreading writing the last chapter. Yes, I want to order heavy, delicious food to cope with the multitude of feelings swelling up within me, or go sit at the coffee shop and casually type out musings for social media posts instead, go anywhere outside these walls, and distract myself, to put the process off a little longer. The stories have been popping through my consciousness with increasing detail, laying themselves out like kids lining up when the school-bell rings, eager and ready to pour through. I can already feel how much I will love writing them, the familiar pull to let the memories form a new fiction deliciously intensifying. This chapter will be fun and adventurous, different than the others. A celebration of skill after four years of chipping away at this, pouring so much life and meaning into this work, having grown as a writer, into a richer storyteller who's surprised myself.
A sentimental part of me is lingering on the edge of starting the last chapter, because I already miss the process of writing my first book. The obsession. And quitting. Bearing my soul. The isolation. Both freeing and lonely, in that there's been no one telling me what to do, Amazon reviews to agonize over, guidance or criticism, other than my own. I wanted to do this my way, and I have.
I already miss the unknown. The rampant self-doubt. Immense frustration of feeling stuck in Before Land—like my life can't start before this book is written. Like everything in my life has led to this. Writing this book has kept me alive. I have clung to the purpose of birthing these stories from a chapter of my life so intensely packed with disappointments and challenges, sharing the tiny wins and personal triumphs, alike, in a way that I can only hope is intimate and, dare I say, transformational. I wrote it the way I wrote it, because that's what came through. It couldn't have been any other way.
I love this book. It is the best thing I've ever done in my life. It will touch so many and change my life forever for the better. I have wanted that change for as long as I can remember, and standing on the edge of it, I miss Before Land, where it was all dreaming and unknown, this journey within, to give myself permission to sit down and Just Write. For the first time, I did it just for me. I fell in love with the process. It has brought fulfillment like nothing else. I know, once this chapter is written, I'll never again be able to say, "I'm writing my first book." There will be countless more, but they'll never be, the first.
I'm eager and reflective. Hopeful, content and so sad. I'm proud, and down. Deflated within my sense of accomplishment. It's never just one thing, is it?