I picked up the old pages, spattered with blood red revision ink - my favorite color to edit with because even if my eyes get tired, as I can easily distinguish red from black print. I looked over the changes I'd made, the different drafts - first large changes, then smaller as I refined my story. All of the ups and downs of this past year, rough as it was, remain fresh in my memory, but now there isn't as much hurt. There's space.
I've been looking at it as I started this novel two years ago, and I need to stop being lazy. Perhaps the real problem with me is I should have realized I only started this novel two years ago, and it just needs a few more months to be polished, shined up, and sent it off to it's first day at school.
And my friend was right - I push myself hard, and I need to give myself a break. Sometimes we all stumble, and I certainly had every reason to this past year. Yet I've still retained my love for reading and writing. I still need it, the same way I need nutritious food and love.
Writing sometimes can be pumped out. But it's also something that comes from the heart, and sometimes, when crises hit, we have to let ourselves bleed a little bit off-stage instead of letting it flow into and poison our published works.
I fixed my first full chapter this past week. I'm ready to finish the rest.