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  • Writer's pictureS. Yumi Yamamoto

Flying Finish

The worst thing about flying is not the food, or the uncomfortable seats, or the lift-off/landing fears: it's the waiting for hours in the terminal. Bonus points if there's a child (or several) who is crying somewhere in the echoing halls with no end in sight. Not that I blame the kid. I feel like crying most of the time too.

I'm about a half a chapter away from finishing my novel, and I'm feeling anxious about it. I've been working on this novel for so long (arguably upwards of seven years) that I don't know if I want to finish it. Is it good enough? Is this really the best I can do? Is this book marketable? Will people actually like this? Should I keep working on it and rearrange the chapters?

Am I ready?

I want to be ready for this, for any sort of limited amount of success that propels my career forward. The fame I sought as a teen doesn't even matter much anymore. The career, the love of writing, the knowledge that I can make a living doing this: that's what matters to me now.

But as I sit here in the airport, stationed firmly by an outlet, I can't help but hope for it all. Just playing the numbers, it won't happen. I won't have that crazy, unimaginable success that my favorite authors have. I won't be a household name. I won't have parents giving their children copies of my novel because it's time they read it. I want that, but I don't think it'll happen.

Who's to say? My successes and failures are not wholly my doing in this industry. Art is so subjective, and even Van Gogh struggled to be recognized. I adore my first readers, my fellow students, the anonymous person on the internet who kept telling me I had something worth while. I don't know if I believe it.

For now, however, I need to finish. Algar's final chapter isn't going to write itself.

It's time.

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