One of the hardest parts of the writing process is getting honest feedback. Close friends and family think nothing of lying in order to spare your feelings about as little as a poem. So they'll sooner tell you that your baby is ugly than that they didn't like the manuscript you've agonized over for two years.
As a dreamy, driven teen, it was a challenge that both daunted and inspired me throughout my high school career. My dreams were always out-of-the-box -- an artist of some sort -- an actress, maybe a film-maker ... but luckily I was someone who figured out how to comfortably be in-the-box, keeping my out-of-the-box thoughts mostly to myself.
This year has made me question a number of things, my love of New York among them. There was a time I thought that love would be forever unwavering. That, along with my love of writing. Love is funny that way, though. It burns and it burns, white-hot, blindingly hot, until it burns itself out. And I'm all burnt out on New York, on writing, on it all.
I know I should've been ecstatic, but when I finished writing my first novel -- I was bereft. I couldn't stop thinking about Caroline, Andy, Lilly, all my characters. We'd been together for so long. It's not a secret that I spent more time with them than my real family. I never prepared myself for life without them.