I've been working my way through the monthly critiques early this month. And it occured to me while reading that Marie, of The Underground Writing Project, has handed in the final chapter of her book Darkwings. It also occured to me that when she handed it in we did not have proper appreciation for that accomplishment. We picked up the packet of 30 or so pages and headed home as if this was just another packet of 30 or so pages to read.
For two years or thereabouts, Marie has handed in submissions steadily. Working each month to create a piece of work for us to read. Now, she has a husband, and a daughter, and a job. She completed one novel before this one. She completed this second one because she wrote steady and even, in spite of those everyday obstacles we all face, and now she's the first one in our writing group to have handed over a completed work--a book that we have read from beginning to end. So: Cheers to Marie. Good work.
We've also finished the Round Story. After a couple years of tossing maniacal story bits to each other, we finally have it done enough to edit and streamline those maniacal bits into one maniacal whole.
Look, we all know rough drafts need even more work once they're all done. But sometimes it's good to pause, not look at what you still want to do in the future, and just acknowledge the steps you've taken to get there. Wrote a page today? Awesome. Only a paragraph? Still awesome. Finished the rough draft of that big ol' book you've been working on? More than awesome. That's a step that hundreds of 'writers' out there haven't done yet.
Right now I'd just like to give a shout out to Marie, for having finished the first leg of a really long race.