Updated: Jul 10, 2022
So, you've finished your first book, what do you do now? Who the heck knows... I've said it before and I'll say it again, I don't know anything. I'm sharing my experience and that's all I can do. So, here's my two cents on why you should always type 'The End."
First, and foremost, I want to take a minute to say a huge congratulations to anyone who has taken steps to write. Anything, for any audience. It's hard, trust me, it is hard and nobody who's ever tried will argue with you about that. Putting your pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard as the case may be) is often the hardest part. It took me almost twenty years to work up the courage and I only did it because my 17 year-old said something snarky like, 'Well, if you want to write why aren't you then?' Seriously, it was just an off handed comment, but it blew my mind...
Why wasn't I doing it? I've learned in life it sometimes takes the wisdom of youth to examine your life in a meaningful way. My daughter is an amazing example of this. She is one of the strongest people I know, and she will never for a minute compromise anything that is important to her for anyone. I admire that about her, though it does often cause contention between us. I have said it before, but I am definitely not that way. I tend to be a people pleaser and one of the things I struggle most with is truly putting myself first and allowing my own happiness to be important. This causes me to sometimes look at her and wonder why she does the things she does. Not that it's bad-again, I admire this about her-but she often chooses to do things despite the fact that that choice is not one that is necessarily the best thing for everyone.
Here's a quick example, even though it really doesn't matter or have anything to do with the purpose of this blog (again, I've said it before and you will learn-my mind is a maze but I always get there, and the journey is half the fun right?). Anyway, during Christmas break she wanted to go somewhere with her boyfriend (he's her first real one and they're still in the phase where they want to spend every minute together). I wanted to go to a trail of lights that has become a family tradition. I told her she could make whatever choice she wanted and even though it was obvious I wanted her to come with us (she's 17 after all and this may be the last Christmas I have any control over what she does). She chose to go with her boyfriend. Of course, I was devastated and I took it out on her by having a Lorelei Gilmore style meltdown where I probably made some kind of comment about how her boobs were way bigger than mine (I'm just kidding, if you're a fan, you understand).
Anyway, in the end, we ended up compromising and the boyfriend just came with us, but the point is she chose what she wanted over my feelings. At the time I was annoyed, and it did cause an argument, but ultimately, I respect her for making the decision she thought would make her happy.
What does all this have to do with typing 'The End' you ask? Honestly, I have no idea... I got off track. But I'm getting back on right now... So you've finished your work? First of all... pat yourself on the back! You did it! You sat down, you put in the effort and you completed the job, be proud of that.
Here's the purpose of this blog (see, I told you I'd get there), no matter what the type of work-be it a novel, a novella, a short story, a poem... whatever your particular genre-type 'The End' when you finish.
Why you may ask? There is just something truly cathartic about these words. Trust me, do it and you will understand. Especially if you, like me, have been pushing your dreams to the side. If you have been 'thinking about' writing for a long time, these words are like the best thing to see on your paper (or screen in most cases) ever. They allow the full value of what you've achieved to sink into your brain.
So that's it folks, nothing too mind blowing this time. Type 'The End,' that's it, that's my advice for today... I promise it's worth it.
One other bit of advice I will give, if you haven't yet taken the plunge, or you've been thinking about writing for forever, or you've started and stopped a million times but haven't ever found anything good enough to finish, my question for you is 'What the heck are you waiting for?' Do it. It doesn't have to be good, maybe you won't ever show anyone, but if it is something you want to do, do it. And when you finish, type 'The End.'
That's my two cents! I hope you enjoyed them!
-Rose Rayne Rivers
Oh yeah... The End
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