I now understand this statement! It has a completely different meaning from “I wrote a novel” or “I finished the first draft of a novel”.
I was feeling proud and glib and successful using those last two statements until I gave the first draft to my Editor in November. I had expected her to get back to me in late January as I planned to be away for much of December and January. Instead, she got back to me within a couple of days! She was kind and encouraging, but she also identified a lot of shortcomings. I should have listened to our Workshop lectures more closely about having a well-outlined plot!
So, I’m back to the drawing board for now. I need to step away from the novel I wrote (the first draft was definitely written for myself), and create a novel that other people might want to read, and not put down until the very last page. Isn't that what all writers need to do?
So, it's back to the drawing board for me for a few months... or longer!
Writing is such a fascinating process.