So, by writing this I will probably jinx myself, but as of today I expect to finish up a draft of my WIP by the end of this week (or the beginning of next at the latest, if my ending takes longer to wrap up than I anticipate it will). For any non-writers out there that are reading this, finishing up even a rough draft of a novel is a HUGE deal. And since I suffered an embarrassingly long drought where I couldn’t get myself to write at all and somehow managed to flip that on its head and bang out a complete draft is an even bigger deal to me.

Apart from my thesis manuscript that I had to finish in order to graduate, this is the first novel I’ve written just because – and hopefully won’t be my last. So even though I know I have a long road ahead of editing, getting feedback from my awesome weasel writing group, etc., I plan to celebrate this accomplishment much the same way college students gear up for football games: with a pre-game party, if you will. I can’t celebrate the win quite yet (a.k.a, a completely finished, can’t-look-at-this-again polished draft that’ll rock my socks off), but I can still toast to getting the story down, right? Right. 😉

So cheers to all my fellow aspiring authors out there that are in the process of finishing or have just completed the first draft of a novel. Enjoy this moment with whatever form of pre-gaming you so choose, because once we actually step out on to the field to play (read: edit), the real work has just begun. Be sure to suit up with some protective padding; you’ll no doubt get tackled dozens of times and may even want to leave the game all-together. But try your hardest not to, okay? If I learned anything from writing my thesis, it was that the ending product is well worth the tackles and hits you take during the editing stage.

And if you’re able to hook an agent and publisher with your brilliant polished manuscript, you, my friend, have won the game! Go Team!