I haven't looked at it since I finished. I haven't peeked at the first page, which I already know I love, or played the game where I scroll through the manuscript and stop on a random bit, hoping to find something that surprises me - evidence that I am not a hack. That I deserve the confidence so many people have in me. I haven't worried about the revision ahead, or how I know that the end doesn't match the middle and, maybe, the beginning. That I have a ton of work ahead of me.
Instead, I took the last few days and I let myself read some books I've kept in the wings. I've eaten good food and showed my kids how to properly get bodyslammed onto the couch. I've watched the fourth season of Breaking Bad, climbed a few crags, and made a trip to Portland, then Eugene.
But I admit: I'm scared and nervous. I'm worried my execution won't live up to the vision. I'm worried that Abigail's story won't be told in the way it deserves to be. I'm worried I'm going to be didactic, moralizing, or worse - sentimental.
Yet, where else is there to go? What else is there to do but open the document and begin the work? Not doing so seems to be the harder choice. Because there are moments when this story flirts with beauty. When it shows me the power of family and how people can remain connected and committed and loving even when everything is falling apart. It's about having faith, but also doubt, and how both are crucial to growing up - to finding what is really true.
So, tomorrow I start. Maybe even this afternoon. And despite the fear and anxiety, despite the frustration and pain, I can't wait to see what happens next.