Sunday, May 24, 2020

The One in Which Erin Finally Finishes Her Novel

So. It finally happened.

Yes, I, Erin Marie, of the smol book people, on the gorgeous day of May 2, 2020, finally Finished My Novel.

*Tosses confetti into the air and starts a dance party in the comments*

As lighthearted as I'm being, finishing writing my book is one of the biggest accomplishments of my life so far.

This ridiculous novel planted itself as a tiny idea in my teenage brain back in the tender old days of 2008 (a simpler time). Back then, I still had an iPod nano, an affinity for Aeropostale, and was worried about starting high school. Over time, as I grew as a person, so did my book. It morphed and changed over many drafts over many years.

After working on this book off and on for over a decade (largely due to procrastination, unnecessary rewrites, and my stubborn refusal to let it go), I could feel that it was time to finally finish it.

And now I have! Praise God. I seriously cannot describe what a mental weight off me this is. Maya Angelou really said it best: "There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you." For so long, that was me.

Image credit.
Kindreds: A Blurb

I'm not great at creating a book summary, but I shall give it a go. In short, my novel follows a family that travels back to their hometown after ten years of living somewhere else. It's about their adventures in the small town over the course of one summer. There's romance, friendship, familial love, grief, and an overweight flat-face tabby cat. Yup.

The Pinterest board is here if you want to see more visual inspo I used for the book.

Select character mood boards are also up on my Pinterest. I don't know if it's just me, but I work really well when I have Pinterest boards and visuals. That's just the way my mind works.

My Facebook Status After Finishing My Book:

I finally finished my novel last night! 🥰 If you know me well, you've probably heard me mention it once vaguely and then immediately change the subject. This book has been a story I've been working on for so long, and procrastinating writing for even longer. I never thought that it would take a global pandemic to push me to finish it, but I'm so glad that it is now out of my frantic writer's brain and onto the page. (They grow up so fast!) Next up: Editing and rewriting this first draft til it's logical and coherent. Send music recommendations. And coffee. 😁💜

It was very emotional to complete that last chapter.

I may have misted up. The characters in this novel have been a part of me for so long, and it's a bittersweet feeling to let go of them and finish their story. But it was necessary.

Image credit.
Right now, I am slowly working on editing my book, a process that I anticipate will take some time.

I wrote the majority of the book during quarantine(!!), and was working on it for hours each day, so it's safe to say that it was an all-consuming project. Part of me wants to power through the edits right away, but I also think there's value in stepping away from the story and revisiting it with brand new eyes (kudos to you if you caught my Paramore reference).

The only other novel-sized manuscript I wrote was in the seventh grade.

It was a story about a middle school superhero and was roughly one fifth the size of Kindreds. That is my only other experience with writing a full-length thingamabob, so editing this book is going to be a massive undertaking.

Which brings me to you, dear blog friends!

What advice do you have for me, O Wise Ones of the Word? I have limited experience with what happens after finishing a first draft - my #1 goal was always just to write the whole thing. What's your process for novel editing? Send help??

Feel free to leave any suggestions or ideas you might have below in the comments! (Please?) Sending back hugs and chocolate cake.

Don't dream it's over,


  1. SO EXCITED!!! This is amazing!! So happy for you!! My advice, and of course every writer is different, but I step back for about 4-6 months. It's hard, I won't lie, but in that time I give some of my attention to other projects. After about 4-5 months away from the second book in my trilogy, I am in the process of reading through it and editing. It's so amazing to jump back in after a long break, to fall in love again with the book.

    So excited for this. Definitely checking out the pinterest board for it! <3

    stay amazing!
    ~ brooke

    1. Thanks so much Brooke! I totally feel that. Right now, I'm really tempted to spring right back into editing, but I also want to take some time to write and see what new ideas come forward. Thanks so much for the advice, and for reading! I hope you have a wonderful day. 💜

  2. *joins dance party in the comments*
    Congrats on finishing your book!

    You: I'm not good at writing blurbs!
    Also You: Write the absolutely fire line, " It's about their adventures in the small town over the course of one summer. There's romance, friendship, familial love, grief, and an overweight flat-face tabby cat."

    1. *disco ball descends from the ceiling*

      Thanks so much, Mary Kate! :) I appreciate your kind words! I don't know what it is, but especially in real life, I get so awkward talking about my book and fail to really succinctly define what it's about. I get all shy and bashful GAH.

      Hope you have a stellar day! Thanks for reading.

  3. Congratulations!! This is a HUGE accomplishment and I'm so excited to read it! ♡

    1. Thanks so much! It's definitely a weight off me to have finished writing this particular book. Hopefully the editing process is kind to me.💜

  4. Congratulations on finishing your novel, Erin!! It truly is a great accomplishment. :) Praise God indeed for sustaining you throughout all the writing; I admire how you were able to finish it during this quarantine season. Wishing you luck and lots of energy for the editing to come.

    Anna Jo |

    1. Thanks so much, Anna! :) Yes, there is no way I could have completed this book without His help. A lot of prayer (and tears) went into this draft, haha. Thanks so much for your kind words! Wishing you a wonderful Monday.

  5. Congrats on finishing your book!!!!!!!!!!!! That's so exciting!!!!

    My advice is to let the book sit to the side for a few weeks. Let yourself soak in this moment of "I finished a book!" before you begin edits. There'll be plenty of time for tearing your manuscript to shreds later and embracing this moment of accomplishment is so important in order to get you through the edits.

    1. Thanks so much, Sarah!! 💜

      Thanks for the advice! I think I'm definitely going to have to let it sit for a while. I have other ideas for stories and sort of want to explore those before jumping in to a ton of editing. Thanks for reading and for your sweet words!!

  6. Congrats! Finishing a book is such an accomplishment!!!
    Doing it during quarantine is even more impressive. I love the Pinterest board for it!

    1. Thanks so much, Skye! I'm really glad I was able to complete it, even in spite of the pandemic. :)

  7. ERIN THIS IS TREMENDOUS NEWS. *throws confetti and slices cake* I remember you talking about this novel, and I bet it’s such a relief to be done with the first draft.
    I do not have advice (as I am unexperienced in novel writing), but I can, however, say that many writing advice people suggest a break between first draft and editing. I think it is a valuable idea.

    so so happy for you.

    1. Thanks so much, Keira!! *catches confetti and eats all of the cake* Oh, it is SUCH a relief. It's been an idea fermenting inside of my brain for so long and I'm SO glad it's out of my head and onto the page lol. :)

      I totally agree! I certainly need a bit of a break from that manuscript.

      Thanks so much!! 💜

  8. AHHHH! I feel like I am late to this party but I am so dearly excited for you my friend! I was just thinking about your page and music because I was looking for new songs and tunes. Unrelated but any suggestions? AGAIN! CONGRATS!

    1. Thanks so much Vanessa! :) Of course, I am always down to give music recommendations! I've been listening to the newest 1975 album, which is kind of melancholic, and has some chill acoustic vibes on some of the tracks. Half Moon Run's "All at Once" makes me WEEPY. Then the "Roses" remix by Saint Jhn for working out, and the Perfume Genius album for everything else haha. :)


Go with grace.