Finishing A Novel, Plus Forgiveness

With or without writing, I probably would have reached the same final emotion when I finished my novel: forgiveness.

This feeling arrived as if instant messaging me the day I completed my sixth edit. On that Sunday morning two weeks ago, I saw that I was finally done with “One April Day”– I had conducted enough repair work on the manuscript that I felt ready to start looking for an agent.

As I wrote, I didn’t expect to forgive, but the feeling came anyway. I wrote a fictionalized account of what had happened to me out of anger and curiosity – I wanted to tell the story of my layoff from a newspaper, a falling out with friends and my search for meaning in the upheaval.

I knew I needed to forgive, not for the sake of those who I should have let go, but for my own placidity. When this unsought for feeling hit me, I saw that the repair work had been on me.

I’m not sure how, but writing the story started my process of self-exploration. When I edited and reread the story, I found nuances both in my words and what I was trying to say. My loss entered the paper, like water needing to be wiped away, and became no longer mine.

The loss became a memory, something to stop holding onto after analyzing it from the angles of art and thought.

With that release, I didn’t have to drag along the past, like tin cans attached to a tailpipe. I could start the day and the next with a completed manuscript and a sewed up heart without the entanglements of what-ifs or I-should-have’s.

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4 Responses to “Finishing A Novel, Plus Forgiveness”

  1. helen says:

    Your writing has helped you uncover a special part of yourself...
    I applaud you and admire your brave heart for sharing these insights.
    Keep writing...who knows what other discoveries will be found...

  2. Brave? Yes. Tenacious? Yes. Glad the writing turned out to be cathartic and healing. Our hearts are with you as you strive to make it profitable also. You GO, Girl!

  3. Fay Ulanoff says:

    Once you put it down on paper, you can wear it as a badge of courage or bury it beneath your matress. What ever you chose is the right thing. It is after all experiance and it is behind you.

  4. Samantha says:

    Writing can be therapy. 🙂

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