I know me, and over the years I've become the sort of person who chokes at feedback. I'm proud of myself for being consistent, for writing past my minimum word count. And I'm also pretty proud of the story. I like it. I'm entertaining myself, although I'm aware that I'm almost 6100 words in and nothing more exciting than breakfast has happened.
I'm okay with that. I am actually excited by it. There is a tremendous freedom in long fiction. I don't have to get directly to the point. I don't need a lede, to keep it crisp and snappy. I can stretch my vocabulary, explore character and motivation in lovingly microscopic detail. I had forgotten this, as I always do when the writing gets hard.
Maybe I needed to take such a long break. Perhaps I needed to grow up and calm down, a little. Whatever the reason, I am so glad I committed to writing a novel this year. This feels right.