In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Re-springing Your Step.”
I’d typed the last words to my first novel.
It was done, and I sat, in a state of amazement that after all these years of good intentions, false starts, and distractions, the effort had finally paid off, and it was finished.
It felt good; in fact, it felt great.
“Send it to us,” some of my friends said. “What’s it about?”
“It’s a fantasy novel,” I said. “You might not like it.”
“Naw, man. Go ahead and send it to my email, I’ll check it out. So proud of you, dude!”
And so I sent it out to my friends, eager to hear their response.
One week. Two weeks. A follow up email from me. “Hey guys, it’s been a cupla weeks. How ya likin it?”
Another two weeks, another email. More crickets.
“I’ll read it,” a young man I worked with said. “Not sure you’d like it,” I said. “It’s a fantasy novel.”
“Well, I’ll be honest, Alfred. I’m not much of a reader, but if you send it to me, I’ll read it and tell you what I think.”
He gave me his email, and I sent it.
He kept me apprised of his progress, what he liked, what he wasn’t sure about, what was I thinking when I wrote this. It was good so far, he was enjoying it. He could see the descriptions in his mind. He was reading it in the email app on his phone during downtime and lunch. He read it on the weekends.
And then he told me something that sent me to the moon and around it several times:
“I finished it, and I’m looking forward to the second part.”
In that moment, if no one else ever read it, I considered myself a writer.
I got an admitted, self -confessed non-reader to finish my first novel, and he remains, to this day, the first of two who have the unpublished manuscript in their possession.
It was more validation to me than if all my friends had read it and offered their thoughts and opinions.
I was (emotionally) high for a week. I shared it on my fb status, I called my best friend, (a published author, whose book actually contains a line I gave him, but he didn’t pay me. Some friend, huh?) I told my sister.
They congratulated me, they understood what I meant, but they didn’t, well, couldn’t feel the elation that came with hearing those words.
A non-reader who doesn’t read fantasy enjoyed my work, told me to let him know when it was out so he could order it, and was looking forward to reading the second part. And he will order it, because he’s kept his word to me all along.
If that doesn’t put a re-spring in your step, I don’t know what would.