Tonight was to be the night I was going to break two more book writing landmarks: the first, finishing Chapter 10 ,and the second, making it past the first 100 pages.
For myself, I don't like to end on odd chapters when I'm writing so this is part of it but there is something about moving past the first ten chapters that is close to how someone feels on their tenth birthday. Looking back now, the age of ten wasn't exactly the most spectacular, but it said to the world that single digits hand ended; that much closer to adulthood. So to finish Chapter 10 is a huge accomplishment in my mind. It signifies that I am once again past the single digits; I am that much closer to completing my book.
In hindsight, passing age 10 was about as amazing as surpassing 12, 15, 17, and 19. I'm 20 now, and I know that as soon as I hit Chapter 20, it won't matter that I surpassed Chapter 10, it will just matter that my book is growing. But 100 pages, now that is something worth celebrating, at least to me. There is something so sweet and spectacular about knowing that a hundred pages have been written. It seems by this time the story is in full swing, and there are no more awkward chapters searching for their place in the storyline. It is amazing, but alas, neither of these landmarks were reached tonight.
My first instinct would be to feel guilty about not writing, about not hitting my goals for the day. I am a very goal-oriented person. I thrive on To Do lists, find success in knowing I've accomplished something that at one point seemed so far our of reach. And because of this, I push myself to finish one project so I can move on to another. Perhaps it was the beginning of another new year with a blizzard outside. Or maybe, the fact that I'm starting school in a week somehow sucked all of the guilt out of sitting and practically doing nothing today right out of my mind.
So today, I didn't reach any new landmarks.
I did, however, watch the series finale of Fringe, and for some reason, it felt like something very big was ending. Though the show was only on for five (short) seasons, so much changed for me in those seasons. I graduated high school, traveled to Europe for a summer, started college, changed my major AND my college. I discovered I wanted to be a writer, got accepted into a writing program, made Dean's list, received a 4.0 GPA, started writing a book, finished writing a book, turned twenty, and hell, I even went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Needless to say, a lot has happened with Fringe recording each week. Somewhere between white tulips, time travel, saving the world, and leaving behind beloved characters for the first time in five years, I just couldn't drag myself to write today. And what's more, I finished a chapter yesterday that wasn't just any chapter. By the time I was done, I felt so emotionally drained I don't think I could've written a successful chapter today even if I tried.
What does this mean for me? What does this mean for me as a writer?
Well I think if today proved anything, it's that sometimes as a writer, I get sucked into my work. And sometimes, the things I plan for seem to take over the other opportunities, which find me every day. Of course, in life, we need to plan for things, we need to make a plan, and follow through. But when do the things we plan for eclipse the things that are happening right now?
I don't want to be one of those people, nor one of those writers, who lets life pass by. And tomorrow I will be able to take everything I felt with the ending of Fringe and One Tree Hill earlier this week and school and work and everything else that creates a familiar buzz that sometimes just needs to be tuned out with a pair of sweatpants and a fuzzy blanket, and I will be able to spin it into my story, because all those feelings will be fresh in my mind.
Sometimes the only things worth staying up for are really good books, Ben and Jerry's ice cream, and amazing tv. For tonight, that was enough for me. As for the things I'm planning for tomorrow...well, tomorrow starts the whirlwind week of revising BOOK ONE with the best friend. We have so much work to accomplish, secrets to share, and lots of laughter to surround us when it feels like 320 pages will never be perfect.
Until then, I hope you, this invisible person I seem to be writing to in this big and scary universe, remembers that sometimes the things we plan for aren't everything.