I have gone retro. While backing up files (as a good author should), I stumbled upon a novel I wrote three years ago. The story was essentially finished, yet at the time I did not believe it fit for publishing/sharing. And so I deleted it from my computer, assuming it would remain forever lost in a virtual world, never to be seen again. Out of sight, out of mind typically works for me. I see the file each time I perform such maintenance and each time, I ignore it.
Until now, that is.
Yes, I know I am supposed to be on a break. The official release of The Oak Tree is less than a few months old. I deserve some non-writing time. As a wife and mother, this is typically my chance to catch up on the countless projects I put off while in the throes of creation. I should be spring cleaning, scheduling overdue appointments, putting the life around me back in order. It has been a year of cancer hell and author work. I should rest.
But I can’t.
You see, once I started thinking of that manuscript, I could not stop. And although I had forgotten much of what I wrote, I did recall the basic plot and characters. Over the past few weeks, I have jotted note upon note of plot changes and other ideas of how I could fine-tune the story and possibly share it. More importantly, I wanted to read it. For amid my brain-storming, I had yet to revisit the original story.
Which brings me to today.
I have read the first chapters, and I am so, so…so happy. And relieved. I admit there was a part of me, a teeny-tiny part, concerned the novel would not only be poorly-written and require more time than I could give, but that the story itself would stink. Thankfully, it isn’t, and it doesn’t. Perhaps even better, I am enjoying the story. Reading this draft without my ever-critical author/editor eye has given me a rare opportunity to simply fall into the world I have created. Of course, once I finish this read-through I will want to re-write, edit, tweak, and re-visit every word written.
But for now, I am content to be a reader.