This Is The End, My Friend(s)

Posted at Nov 13, 2014 9:42 am

turtle“The End.”

Damn. That felt good!

You writers out there know what I’m talking about. That tsunami of raw emotion that overwhelms you as you type those two little words at the finale of your blood-sweat-and-tears-inducing manuscript. Six little characters (okay, seven if you want to count the space in between) that have governed how you’ve spent the last several months, years, or—in my case—decades wrangling the voices inside your head that demanded you write their story.

I toiled for over twelve years to bring Brianna and Christiaan’s story to life. Since the moment in 2002 when I envisioned their struggle to find meaning in love and marriage, they’ve been with me. Since turning forty in 2003 and my dying mother telling me in her patent no-nonsense tone to “shit or get off the pot” during my latest self-pity lament about having not yet published a novel, Brianna and Christiaan have been with me. (Those that knew Shirley Keafer know exactly what tone I’m talking about.)

Since 2004 when my first critique partner brought me to tears (not an easy feat since I’m not a big crier) about all the mistakes I’d made in my “sadly amateurish” manuscript, the drive to bring my struggling couple to life remained. Since 2005 when numerous agents and editors told me that no one in New York would buy a story with an older hero and heroine because no one in world wanted to read about an older hero and heroine, Brianna and Christiaan’s story demanded to see the light of day.

The years since then brought many obstacles that often made me feel like Sisyphus rolling that damn rock up the hill only to watch it roll back down. From the critique group that sucked all the fun out of writing to the business partner that sucked all the fun out of life, my fictional couple stayed with me. So many times I abandoned them to start other stories (and other businesses) because the criticisms, lack of support, and mental anguish just got to me and I didn’t feel like rolling that damn rock up the hill one… more… time.

[Okay, now don’t stop reading because you thinking this is turning into a boohoo piece about how everyone made life so difficult for me that I couldn’t write—let alone finish—Brianna and Christiaan’s story. Au contraire! I celebrate the challenges the world shoved into my way. Because of what I learned plowing through it all, I finally typed “The End.” What exactly did I learn? That, my friend, is for an upcoming post.]

With age comes some maturity. (Well, at least in my case it did.) Turning 50 last year made me rethink that conversation with my mother. “Shit or get off the pot, Annie.” So guess what I did?

That’s right. I shat. All over the place. No more getting off the pot for this girl!

With Mom’s voice playing in my head and the world’s bestest ever (yes, I know I sound like an excited four-year-old. However, that’s exactly how I feel about Joy Spraycar) critique partner egging me on, I finished “’Til Death Us Do Part.”

Now, the real “fun” begins… editing… beta reading… more editing… cover development… proofreading… formatting… uploading… printing… marketing… selling… Whew!

Thank you, Mother. Thank you, first critique partner. Thank you, agents and editors. Thank you, former critique group. Thank you, former business partner. Thank you, life full of criticisms, lack of support, and mental anguish. Thank you, Joy. Thank you. Thank YOU. THANK YOU!

I couldn’t have done it without you!

“The End.”


10 responses to “This Is The End, My Friend(s)”

  1. Jacie Floyd says:

    Congratulations! That is just the way it goes. The sum total of your parts, good and bad, make up your writing experience. If some of the parts go a different way, it may change the experience, but maybe not for the better. You persevered. You triumphed over the negativity. You have accomplished your goal. You have written The End. Good for you! Can’t wait to read about these characters that just wouldn’t leave you alone.

  2. LaTessa says:

    Congrats Annie!!! I had a similar experience with my first story, and like you, I’ve put it on the back burner & started other projects. One I even got published. But I’ve never forgotten about it. And thanks to your inspiring story, I vow to fix it in 2015.

    I, too, shall shat!!!

    Hey! We should get t-shirts made.

  3. Alice says:

    congrats, congrats, congrats

  4. Diane Darcy says:

    Congrats, Annie!! Whoo hoo! There’s nothing like finishing a book. I’m so excited for you! Loved the blog post. =)

  5. Sandy Loyd says:

    Way to go!!! It’s been long in coming and hopefully, sales will zoom!! Good luck.

  6. Congratulations, Annie! It’s a big deal getting that first book finished. I hope you have wonderful release and tons of sales!!

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