The End is the Beginning: On Luck, L’Amour, and Living the Dream

The trail is long, pardner.

There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning. -Louis L’Amour

If I were Andrew Luck (or RG III or Matt Kalil or any other player in the 2012 NFL Draft), I would be glad that late-April has finally arrived.

Maybe, after the draft actually happens, the incessant analysis will ebb. Maybe the draftees will enjoy a break from the scrutiny, if only until late-July when pre-season training camps open.

No doubt these young people have worked hard for most of their lives to arrive where they are right now: on the verge of signing a contract to play professional football. Herein lies the paradox: At the end of all that hard work is the chance to keep working hard.

Likewise, the end of the draft hoopla is the beginning of the rest of their careers — which will, if they’re lucky, involve a fair amount of hoopla.

I received my own personal news flash re: end-as-beginning. It happened in the style of a Joycean epiphany, while I watched the snow fall on Dublin…

Oh snap.

Actually, no. It wasn’t like that at all.

How did I come to understand the full truth of Louis L’Amour’s words? By writing a novel.

I finished the first full draft of my YA basketball book and waited in a state of total exhilaration for the confetti and balloons to fall. When it became obvious that a ticker-tape parade was not forthcoming, I began to re-imagine the whole story. Finally, I knew where I was going.

Three drafts later, I closed my laptop and thought, “Look at you, girl! Take a victory lap!” When I next opened the laptop, I knew that the Epilogue and most of the scenes involving the mother character were totally wrong. I still had a whole bunch of revision work to do.

Even at this point, with the manuscript polished to a shine and my conviction that it will eventually become an actual book for public consumption, I’m excited about beginning again — on this story or maybe another.

I hope Luck, et al., are excited, too.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Alida Winternheimer says:

    Well, when you put it like that, every end is a beginning, which is really quite cool.

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