I was going to write this as a Facebook post because that's just my platform of choice, but then a nagging little voice in the back of my head started whispering, "If you have something to say, blog it!" So that's what I'm doing.
If you follow me on some form of social media you probably know I'm working on the third book of the Ocean series. The final book. The book that says goodbye to all those characters I've spent so many years with. Really, it's going on eight years since I first "met" them in Heart Like an Ocean.
I've heard plenty of authors say that the third book in a trilogy is the hardest. I just smiled, nodded, and told them to finish writing so I could read it. Those authors found very little sympathy with me, especially if I had been waiting for their book lol.
But now I find myself in those shoes. The ones you walk in to say goodbye to friends who have been in your life so long. Part of me wants to set the book aside and just never write it. Let the characters live on, whispering their stories in my ears as I fall asleep at night, or fold the laundry, or muck out the barn. If I don't finish, they'll stay.
And then there's the paralyzing fear that I won't do right by them. I actually wrote 50,000 words of this book before, about 2 years ago, and scrapped every single word. I've never done that before. I know it was the right decision, because that story was junk, but it was also incredibly hard to just throw away that many words, that many hours of work, that entire journey that I had these characters take that was just... wrong. (Don't worry, the file is still on my hard drive in case I find a use for it. No written word is a waste).
So now I'm sitting here. Second try at writing this book. It's been dragging on for way too long and all I can think about is that the story isn't good enough. I'll never get the goodbye just right. I don't want to say goodbye.
And then I think, "Stop thinking, start writing."
Yes, that's my motto for first drafts, and it's time to start treating writing that terrifying and heartbreaking final book the same way. Yes, even that book.
So if you need me, I'll be in my writing cave. I've got writing to do.