It is a strange feeling to get to the end of a long process and then have to wait…
I have had two such moments recently.
The first was sending off my final research paper for my MA in Creatvie Writing a few weeks ago. After that there was nothing left to do but clear up all the scattered papers and notebooks, and file them away. No words left to write, just wait for the verdict! That is what it felt like. I had done my work, I had submitted the evidence and must wait for a judgement.
The second such ending was submitting the final document of the Community Writing Project I have been coordinating – Life on the Hill. After the slow careful task of proofreading it was as good as it was ever going to be, and so I sent for the first printed copy. What a strange and wonderful feeling to hold the book in my hands. There is a sensuous quality to feeling the smooth new cover, crisp pages which turn with a satisfying firmness. And it is a joy to see the words, which I have pored over so many times in the editing, fresh and clear, out there in black print on white paper, scattered with colourful illustrations.
The same day my printed book was delivered, I also heard that I had been awarded a distinction in my MA. I was thrilled with the result, and with the many congratulations I received.
But my research paper was academic, read and seen by a select few. Not published for the world to read. The anthology book will soon be launched and on sale for a wider readership. The words of many will be out there, public and waiting to be read. What will the verdict be, I wonder? What will readers make of the writing in the anthology?
I believe those who dip into it will be moved and inspired by the beauty which emerges from its everyday-ness. I am expecting a judgement from the readers, but not based on academic principles. I believe it will be a response to the spirit in which the words were written, and the evidence submitted. It will be a verdict which applauds from the heart.