“I finished my book!”

dog love
dog love

Achievement yesterday: wrote all planned scenes in new book.
(Child: “Did you write THE END?” Me: “No, I don’t usually put that in.” Child: “You should!”)
Word total: 83,759.
I note this high water mark only to forget it.

Reality check today: back to the beginning, baby.
From here on in, word count is expected to reverse as I tighten, slash and burn, and sacrifice all of my favourite (aka: indulgent) sentences, paragraphs, and yes, even entire scenes.

Now it gets gritty.

When the kids arrived home from school yesterday, I said, “I finished my book!”

Cool. What’s for snack?

“Now I need to polish it. Then I’ll send it to my agent. She might want me to make some changes. I’ll make those changes. Then I’ll send it back to my agent. Maybe she’ll think it’s ready to go to the publisher. Maybe the publisher will like it. Or maybe they’ll want me to make some changes before offering me a contract. Then I’ll make more changes. Then maybe they’ll want me to sign a contract. Then I’ll start working with an editor. Then I’ll make a bunch more changes …” [note: children no longer listening]

Well. That kind of takes the fun out of celebrating a milestone, doesn’t it!

I should have poured myself a glass of wine instead.

But I had a lot of driving to do last night: older girl to swim practice followed by younger girl to soccer skills (sudden snow squall + commuter traffic = extra-long drive and extra-special driving swear words); home to shovel down supper; back to pick up swim girl, feed her en route, drop her at soccer practice; pick up younger girl and a friend, listen to amusing conversations between daughter and friend (“Watch out — my mom says bad words sometimes when she’s driving! Today she said, mm-hmm mm-hmmm!” [no translation, thankfully] “That’s okay. My mom and dad do that sometimes too.”); send Kevin out for final pickup while putting little kids to bed.

So I didn’t celebrate with a glass of wine.

Instead, after all was said and done, I left the dishes, and sipped a cup of tea, made with mint leaves harvested from our own backyard, and sat on the couch with Kevin and the dogs. It was Kevin’s Valentine’s wish for us. Isn’t he the best?

Today, I renew my commitment to this book.

The Girl Runner!

Long may she run. And may I have the grit, energy, and determination to bring her story into book-shaped form.

Going for broke
Mugging for the camera


  1. saleema

    Congratulations, Carrie! There’s nothing as satisfying as a first draft finished (I think).

    • Carrie Snyder

      I wish I felt that way, Saleema! I just feel a continuing low-level sense of not being done. Ever. It’s kind of permanent. Terminal “creative discomfort” maybe? I’m getting used to it.

    • saleema

      I know that feeling well! But I think that I always feel it the *least* right after a first draft. 🙂 It grows more pronounced after every subsequent one.

      I guess it’s a good feeling to keep from becoming complacent…?! But congrats absolutely in spite of it!

  2. Geoffrey

    What was for snack?

    • Carrie Snyder

      Ha! Snack was: get your own, kids! Although I did make a grilled cheese sandwich for the younger soccer girl.

  3. Geoffrey

    Well done Carrie!

  4. Fiona

    Whoo Hoo! Way to go and yes, Kevin is the best 😉

  5. kristin

    congrats! congrats! congrats!!!

  6. m

    Yes! Well done! The end is never the end, and the beginning is never really the beginning, but getting done to the end of that first draft *is* a really big deal. I hope you have your glass of wine today.

    Also, very selfishly, this makes me so happy because I really want to read another book by you.

  7. Sarah

    I did leave a comment here yesterday, or so I thought. I simply said congratulations! And thank you for giving me something else to look forward to!

  8. feistyredhair

    Congratulations! That must feel absolutely wonderful. Best of luck with the next process, which I can imagine isn’t nearly as fun as the first round of writing 🙂

    • Carrie Snyder

      Actually, I LOVE editing! It’s very comforting work, especially if I’m happy with the overall direction of the book. So I’m quite content to dig into the next part. Touch wood, fingers crossed, etc. etc. etc.


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