But the story has stayed in my head and in my heart. I have not forgotten the girl and the journey she made. In 2011, I started to write it all over again for my creative writing class. I got the first four thousand words down, but floundered in the next parts. I tried NaNoWriMo that year, and barely wrote 500 words. I tried it again in 2012, and while I ended with a little over 30,000 additional words, they were all wrong. It was 30k in learning how I didn't want my characters to be. Frustrated, I put the book on the shelf, deciding that i wasn't ready to finish it.
Fast forward to summer 2013, when I submitted my first chapter along with several short stories as my creative sample for grad school. And got in. The director had a lot to say about my noveling, and that and Twitter encouraged me to forge ahead and finish. You can't edit what you haven't written.
So here I am, looking at the file of a finished novel, the novel that I've been working on for half of my life. It's messy and full of holes and I'm pretty sure my grammar needs a punch in the face, but it's done. That's what editing is for. And I'm looking at this, the month not even over yet:
And feeling like this:
So if you're feeling discouraged, take out your writing utensils.
And just dive in.