It’s done.

Draft 3 of the first long-form story I’ve written in 20 years is finished.

I started this draft back in August, taking the hand-written second draft and retyping it, editing as I went and undoubtedly improving many aspects of the story.

It came in at a smidge over 20,000 words, which I know qualifies it more as a novella than an actual novel. That’s fine.

In the last four months I’ve been reading lots of tips for writing your first novel. That’s been educational. I’m almost glad I didn’t do all that before starting.

Now comes the hard part: Seeing if it interests anyone. Query letters, agent searches and all that. Research into self-publishing options.

To date no one has read it. The only opinion I have to go on is my own.

I have a complete story that I’m pretty happy with, as much as any creator is ever happy. I could go on revising and editing and will likely do a bit of that.

But I want it to be read and so will be working out the best and most realistic option for release.

Updates to come.

Chris Thilk is a freelance writer and content strategist who lives in the Chicago suburbs.