I patted the top of the 8 ½ X 11 box with affection to acknowledge its contents. The box was deep enough to cradle 220 pages of my memoir manuscript. But this wasn’t just a manuscript containing double-spaced typed lines. This was my story – edited, rewritten, honed to the best of my ability, ready for . . . another edit!
I had attacked every paragraph with colored flair pens, reshuffling, deleting and adding, through its development, aware that more onslaughts will be in the making. When I had completed my edit, I saved my manuscript to a flash drive and carried the pages in my hand’s palm to be opened at the Staples counter. I waited patiently, watching the copy machine spit polished pages, stacking them neatly, ready to be whisked away to their creator.
When I had returned home, I placed the box on my desk and eagerly flipped open the lid, revealing a welcoming cover page in black type on clean, white paper.
So many years, so much editing. My lack of accomplishment is not in the years I have toiled on refining prose, or the 4 professional critiques I’ve received along the way. When I paused and reflected on the depth of pages and all I had written, I realized my accomplishment was in the very exercise of rewriting, honing, creating my best that is all me . . . and the printed draft. The fresh, unmarked pages were a reflection of my thoughts, a story in the bud, ready to open and unfold its petals with every sentence and paragraph I constructed.
When I can write no more and have met an impasse, I’ll know it’s time to turn it over to a professional for continued guidance.
Until then, with each refining edit and printing of a clean copy thereafter, I will envision a finished book with its curious cover and welcoming title. I will receive more boxes and lift lids with continued accomplishment.