I'm still riding a vague wave of euphoria having reached the end of my second draft today. I'd been aiming to finish tomorrow, maybe Thursday but the words couldn't wait to get out today. I feel good about it. Better than I did at the end of the first draft. I feel like I've achieved something. I didn't until now.
When I finished the first draft last year I felt as though I still hadn't written a novel. As I was typing the final 500 words today I could already sense that anti-climactic feeling returning. I expected to feel similarly underwhelmed and not any sense of achievement. Yet as soon as I wrote those two little three-letter words I felt good. Pretty bloody good.
In part this is due to the fact that the first draft trailed off. I wrote 'The End' but it wasn't really the right place to finish. I wrote a half-arsed epilogue that I eventually cut. Today I wrote a finite last line. Also, the first draft was really closer to a half draft. There were frequent parts where I'd written, 'Put in description in later draft.' 'Emotional scene here.' 'Sort this bit out.' It wasn't complete. Okay, so it's still shoddy and needs a lot of work but at least it's complete. I feel like I can honestly say I've written a novel now as opposed to before where it felt like I was still writing one. Hopefully with each redraft the sense of euphoria and achievement will become more intense.