On Friday night I put the final period on my first novel. I have written a book. An entire book.
Three years in the making (but four months of highly concentrated working). This semester, I submitted fifty pages of my novel for each of my four packets. If you remember, last semester I only wrote eighty pages toward my novel. This semester, 200.
Part of what I'm paying for in pursuing my MFA is deadlines requiring me to write. I don't know how much I would've gotten done if I hadn't had to do it. And in not writing, thoughts I was having then would've been left out, things that were important to me. I would've written a different story, or never finished a story at all.
Steve has been calling me an author now which feels bizarre. A novelist. I think I can call myself either one, even if I'm not published (yet). I have put in the work. I have sweated my emotions and experience and thoughts out into words over many pages. I understand when people call things like this their "baby." There is a pride and joy in it, an I made that.
With my final sentence, I finished the semester. I have a two month break from school that I will use to comb through this book, revise and edit it. Then I will have someone else do the same. And then I plan to start my second half of grad school with a story I am unwaveringly proud of.
My thirties are teaching me that I am capable of more than I once believed.