Taking Tea in the Kasbah

Guess what?

I did it.

I crossed the word slinging finish line.

Last night, I completed my very first novel and typed these fabulous words:

photo credit: fliegender via photopin cc

photo credit: fliegender via photopin cc

To celebrate, my resident genius and I quietly gave each other fist bumps and knowing looks.

Me, tearing up a little: Way to bring it, buddy.

Genius, emerging from the depths of the disguise closet wearing my go-go outfit: Ditto, pal.

Those two little, yet powerful words signaled the completion of Phase One: Get the @%*&$ Words on the Page, No, Don’t You Dare Edit as You Go, That Takes You Out of the Story, and Out of the Story Is NOT Where You Want To Be. It’s completion is three months after I had hoped it to be and it’s full of craptastic sentences, but it is D-O-N-E.

Soon I’ll embark on Phase Two: OMG What Were You Thinking When You Wrote Those Craptastic Sentences/Paragraphs/Chapters? Yes, You Should Be Embarrassed by THAT, and THAT, and Definitely by THAT, Go On, Don’t Be Shy with the Delete Button. Repeat Ad Nauseum Until Baked in the Center and a Toothpick Comes Out Clean of Any Plotting Problems, Typos, or Gremlins.

But first, I shall let it rest.

photo credit: fliegender via photopin cc

photo credit: fliegender via photopin cc

In case you’re wondering, and because I’m nerdy this way, here are the stats on the Crappy First Draft tentatively named Let Us Go:

Time it took to complete, from plot bunny planting the seed in my funny little brain to The End: 6 1/2 months (Not too shabby given that my last finished manuscript was finished, um, NEVER.)

Number of pages: 433 (I’m skeptical, Scrivener. If this is true, then I certainly got a bit wordy with the word slinging as I’m wont to do now and again, didn’t I?)

Total word count: 101,615 (Not outrageous, but a little high nonetheless.)

Cups of coffee consumed throughout the word slinging months: Many

Number of Chocolove Almonds & Sea Salt in Dark Chocolate candy bars consumed: Let’s not go there.

Hours of sleep foregone so that words may be slung into the manuscript: Too tired to tally these up. A bazillion?

Satisfaction attained by typing The End: Great big honking heaps of satisfaction.

photo credit: fliegender via photopin cc

photo credit: fliegender via photopin cc

So why the big deal over the two little words? Because I could fill a neighborhood’s worth of recycling bins with the stories I’ve started over the years but abandoned when life or nefarious plot bunnies steered me away.

But with the encouragement that I’ve found here in the kasbah, among my writerly friends online, in my writing critique group, and with my friends and family, I remained focused on the goal. Huge thanks to everyone who has cheered me on these last several months.


How about you, fair readers? Have you achieved any writing goals or other goals that have been eluding you for a long time? How do you celebrate when you attain your goal? Come tell your tales. The tea is ready and the pillows have been expertly fluffed. I always love hearing from you.

31 thoughts on “The End, For Now

  1. Yay – congratulations! Very impressed by your 61/2 months timeframe… That’s awesome.

    • Thanks, Ellen! 6 1/2 months seems long in some ways (like when I think about it taking me 3 months longer to finish it) and short it others (seeing as I’ve never taken a manuscript all the way to The End, this was pretty quick).

      • Well I won’t tell you how long I take to write first drafts… considerably longer, let me assure you!

        • We all work at our own pace, right? I’ve come to realize that I’m never going to be someone who can crank out polished, edited manuscripts in 6 months. A crappy first draft? Sure. But right now with everything I’ve got going on, I’m working at my fastest. And that’s good enough for me for now. 🙂

  2. on ,
    Brinda said:

    I am SUPER excited for you!!!!!!! <- hence the # of exclamation points

    Please celebrate.

    • Thanks, Brinda! I did celebrate a little beyond the fist bumps with my genius, but it still feels a little surreal to me to have achieved it.

  3. Courage, stamina, accomplishment. You’ve completed a marathon, my friend, the trophy is yours. WOOOOOOOOOOOT!

    • I get a trophy? AWESOME. Thanks for bringing that to my attention Sherry. Will it come in the mail? Or do I have to go pick it up somewhere? 😉

      • Pick up or delivery, your choice. Only rule: trophy change of hands may only take place at your kasbah, my kasbah, or Nationals kasbah. Why the kasbah? Because we rock!

        • We do absolutely rock. I can’t decide which would be more fun – you stopping by my kasbah or me stopping by yours. 🙂

  4. WOOHOO!!! Congratulations, Tami! That is awesome. I love all the little claims you added of what it took to get you there- such fun to read. One more woohoo? I think so… WOOHOO!

  5. on ,
    Debbie Haynes said:

    That’s huge, Tami! Congratulations! I’m going to copy your words of wisdom and put them up on my bulletin board. My favorites? “Don’t you dare edit as you go”, and “Don’t be shy with the delete button”. Yup, I definitely need to be reminded of those.

    • Thank you, Debbie! The “don’t you dare edit as you go” mantra was a big hurdle for me to get over. Doing NaNoWriMo helped a lot with that.

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  7. Congratulations Tami!!!! I’m so very excited for you. You should be proud. Getting to this two words is a HUGE accomplishment. So, “Bravo!” *standing ovation*

    • Many thanks, Elizabeth! *blushes hard and then takes a bow in acceptance of standing ovation*

  8. Digital fistbumps across the ethernet. What an achievement. I haven’t reached that one yet, but I have some much more modest ones I’m working on, starting with “submit one thing without making twelve more revisions.” Congratulations, Tami!

    • Thanks, Julie! I hear ya on the 12 more revisions thing. I still have a hard time hitting the publish button here in the kasbah without at least 12 revisions.

  9. on ,
    Marcia said:

    Congratulations Tami! You make us proud!! Way to go.

      Did you say 6 1/2 months??? wow!
      My first manuscript took me 4 years to complete. The fastest I ever wrote one was 4 months. And most of my work spans years – from writing through final edits.
      Enjoy a lovely rest. Bask in the Good Feeling. And have fun in the Edit Phase.

      • Thank you, Suzanne! 4 months for one manuscript? Wow back atcha!

        I’m actually looking forward to the first round of edits and making the story come closer to its full potential. 🙂

  10. on ,
    Mary Ann said:

    This is an amazing milestone…congrats!

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