Writing is a process that for some takes months, others years. The idea for a story can take shape from something as simple as driving a blind curve on a road, watching a young couple kiss, or reading a news story on the Internet. (At least for me.) With the implantation of that single seed every writer begins to think, to research and plot (at least to varying degrees) before getting down to the actual business of writing.
Planning the celebration to follow my youngest child's Bat Mitzvah was very similar. It started months ago with an idea for a candy theme. I thought about place cards, candy centerpieces and giveaways. I researched and found the perfect party planner, candy torah seating cards, personalized string backpacks, DJ, photographer, and photo favor company. I created a guest list then contracted, designed, and ordered what I needed.
The day of the Bat Mitzvah felt similar to when I finish a first draft. I felt a sense of excitement, accomplishment that it all came together the way I'd planned. My daughter was beautiful, poised, and dare I say perfect!!! No mother could have been prouder! The reception was fabulous, the food delicious, and the dancing....let's just say quite a few of my muscles and discs rebelled at the overzealous activities of the day!
When the party was over and I looked back at how it all went, it felt similar to the revision process. What would I have done differently, how could I have made things better? For one, I would have eaten more or at least asked that my salmon be packaged up for me to eat later. (As a result of this oversight we stopped at a local hamburger restaurant on the way home from the party....me....complete with my glow stick necklace!) Second, I would have worn a pair of the colorful ped socks we distributed to the kids instead of playing grownup and keeping my heels on the entire time. (An oversight I'm still feeling the effects of today!) Third, I would not have allowed my daughter to wear a strapless dress. (An oversight that had her tugging up her bodice throughout the day.) Unfortunately, a writer can go in and revise to fix the details to make them better. The mother of the Bat Mitzvah girl cannot. Luckily the problems were minor in comparison to all the fun we had!
And finally, the day after the party, just like when a manuscript's final final edits are complete and it's on its way to the agent/editor for review, I experienced the the letdown of 'The End'. Just like I miss the characters who have been a daily part of my life for months, I miss the planning and anticipation of my daughter's big day, which is now just another happy memory.
How do you feel when you've finally completed your manuscript and sent it off? Are you relieved? Sad? Do you obsess and wish you'd made a few more changes? Do you get right to work on your next project, or do you give yourself a much needed break?
- It is said that good things come to those who wait. I believe that good things come to those who work. - Wilt Chamberlain
- A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit. - Richard Bach
- You don't find time to write. You make time. It's my job. - Nora Roberts
- Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most. - Buddha
- Luck is when an opportunity comes along and you're prepared for it. - Denzel Washington
- I can accept failure, but I can't accept not trying. - Michael Jordan