I've just completed the first draft of the novel I began writing several months ago. I do not feel exhilarated. I have a very sore throat and knots in muscles I don't remember using.
I've been congratulated recently on my weight loss. I've been embarrassed to admit I haven't exercised regularly or even occasionally. Neither have I paid attention to what I've eaten or, on most days, whether I've eaten. I've prepared so many imaginary meals, I have no desire to eat, much less cook.
My coffee consumption has increased and so has my blood pressure. I've taken to avoiding mirrors altogether and I mentioned to someone today that I don't remember the last time I smiled. I know it's been months since I've laughed.
I didn't put myself on a schedule when I began writing. I didn't arrange my workspace carefully or create an outline. I didn't scribble thoughts in a journal or affix post-it notes anywhere. I didn't give myself a benchmark of the number of words I wanted to write in a given period of time or regularly count them. I didn't schedule time in my day to write or make myself complete a certain number of pages or purposely stop mid-sentence before I turned my attention to something else.
I didn't unwind with a glass or a bottle of wine each night with my salon of writer pals over sumptuous plates of pasta. I certainly didn't "write drunk and edit sober."
I can't even begin to describe my "process." I'm not sure how much was writing, what constituted editing, whether the fragments of sentences in dialogue will convey something about the character or prove distracting to the reader.
When I close my eyes, though, I can see the interiors of their homes and the view from each of the windows. I know which roads to take to get there and the landmarks along the way.
This is pretty scary, because I need to use the GPS on my cell phone to get to my doctor's office.
I drove through a tunnel of trees today with yellow and green and orange leaves and realized what a beautiful day it was. My stomach growled and there's no food or coffee in the house, but I'm too exhausted to drive, let alone walk to the store. At least I know there are plenty of teabags.
My first draft is finished and apparently, so am I.