Thirteen years, countless drafts, and 49,518 words later, my goal is in reach. And I’m not even half way through the draft yet. Finding a place for another 482 words should be no problem, especially amid the complexity of the plot and the many yet unexplained but vital details. 50,000 words, here I come!

With my aspiration in reach, my mind turns to other thoughts. For the past thirteen years, the story has been my One Ring. Always on my mind. Always the focus of my writing. Always perplexing and exasperating and thrilling.

And now I stand on the edge of seeing it end. I know how Frodo must have felt, slowly approaching Mount Doom–minus the sulfuric burn of the nearby volcano. I am weary of carrying it, but I don’t know if I want to let it go. It has become a part of me. I have been able to touch it and adjust it whenever I want. But if all goes as I hope it will, it will no longer be mine to edit at a whim. It will sit on bookshelves in libraries and bedside tables, complete as it is.

Despite the desire to hold it, I know I must let it go. And I will. And it won’t require anyone permanently maiming my hand to pry it from my fingers.

After all, there’s always the next book to write, and November–National Novel Writing Month–is swiftly approaching. Then the word count will begin yet again.


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