R has been my faithful reader for over two years now. She's been reading my novel (and giving me feedback) a chapter at a time. She's actually read the first half of it twice since I made major revisions.
My next step in this process is to print out the whole thing and take a red pen to it. I decided on a whim to call R first to see if she had the last few chapters I gave her so I wouldn't have to print out all of it--save a tree, you know.
She had every chapter. I was touched. She knew exactly where it all was, too.
So when I picked her up for our staff meeting (we work together, and she lives down the street) she carried out this file folder with this 1-1/4" stack of papers in it (yes, I measured it--I'm a dork). I was like, "Is that my novel???" I had never seen it all together like that.
I think that's the first time it really hit me--I actually wrote a novel.
It's a big stack of papers. R said it was a lot of typing. Yes, but every word of it is an expression of me. It's my imagination articulated and put on paper.
So even if it never gets published, even if only my friends and family read it, even if the agents laugh at me and tell me not to quit my day job...
I WROTE A NOVEL!