I work close to our local university and I've had the opportunity to be on campus the last few days. Wow. What a beehive of activity! There are parents following their kids around, looking lost and a bit sad while the kids look excited and a bit apprehensive. You can tell the new students from the seasoned professionals by the way they're dressed - the new students still need to make a good impression and the girls are wearing their cute sundresses and have their hair donw while the seasoned ones are quite comfy in their flipflops, cut-off shorts, and hair pulled back into a ballcap.
There's an energy in the air that is just neat to be around. For a split second the other day, I thought, "I want to do this again." But then I realized that although it's a fun-filled environment those first few days, after awhile the newness wears off and you've got to buckle down and get to work. For new students, there's homework, tests, juggling the responsibility of being on your own for the first time, meeting new people, friendships, saying no or yes to the party life, making it to class on your own...in short, life hits you smack in the face.
Hmm. That's sort of like writing your novel - though it's not only for new novelists, but for us all. The newness wears off after awhile, the excitement and anticipation, where everything is fresh and fun and exciting and there are things to be discovered. But then you hit the middle and you're bogged down with plot problems and character SNAFU's and sabotaging thoughts of "I can't do this" and "I can't write, what was I thinking?"
But then, when you get toward the end, just like during finals week, you stretch yourself and write and write and finally, you can breathe a sigh of relief when you type "the end", just like you breathe a sigh of relief when that last final is turned in for the semester.
What a ride.
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