Do you remember when you were a kid and you would spend hours riding your bike around town, no destination in mind, just because you liked to explore? Do you remember that one time you were cruising down a really big hill and there were cars parked all along the curb, so you had to ride in the middle of the road? Do you remember when your brakes suddenly gave out, and you were flying down that hill, and there was a car coming up behind you and you didn’t know how you would ever stop?
I want you to remember that moment, and I want you to remember this one as well. I want you to remember the last moments drafting the Sea Story. I want you to remember what it feels like to be so swept up in story, so thoroughly carried away, that it feels like you’re zooming down a big hill.
I want you to remember how it feels a little scary, like your fingers aren’t your own, like you’re going too fast, too fast, and maybe you should stop to catch your breath.
I want you to remember the joy of it, how this character, this town, this story feels so right to you. I want you to remember how much fun it is to be flying through the draft, your arms outstretched and your hair whipping behind you, catching bugs in your teeth.
I want you to remember that particular sadness, knowing all this is coming to an end, that the story won’t last forever, that eventually you will have to write The End. I want you to remember how tightly you hung on to it in those last moments, not quite ready to say goodbye.
I want you to remember this, because the rest of the journey won’t be the same. You’ve been riding down a hill, but you are coming up to a long, flat stretch. You’ll have to start using your legs and things will start to feel like work. You’ll get tired, you’ll start to wonder why you ever decided to embark on this journey in the first place. You’ll look back over your shoulder and wonder if that hill ever really existed, if you ever really loved this story to begin with.
I’m here to tell you, yes, you did. I’m here to tell you it was the best writing experience of your life. It was something special, and it’s important that you remember that because that downhill stretch is what’s going to propel you through the rest of your journey.
Remember this moment. File it away in your brain and mark it as IMPORTANT.
And enjoy it while it lasts.