She spent tortured hours trying to figure out exactly how to end the story, what words would articulate a propitious pinnacle. How much closure should she provide? She could create an unquestionable happy ending, but who would believe that? And happiness truly valued without its opposite? No, she wanted to make sure her champions clearly conquered their first challenge, but still had an opportunity to grow, that they had an opportunity to grow and continue to pursue their principles. Because she had fallen in love with them and could not imagine a life without them. She needed to know what they would do next, how their relationship would develop, that they would always be there for each other. She wanted to see where their choices would lead them. Of course, she would always be there watching over them, guiding them, but somehow they had achieved an existence that was both independent of and intertwined with her own.
When she finished typing the last word, she sat there, staring at the screen, a feeling of disbelief settling in. She had done it. She had written a novel. She had actually completed it! It was difficult to walk away. She felt like she should spend eternity refining it, but it was as consummate as it could be. It was done, now it was time to rest and rejoice.
She had always wanted to be a writer, ever since she was little. And her parents had been supportive but condescending, saying all the right things, but in the wrong tone. Hadn’t they known that an aspiring writer would be able to recognize tone? She didn’t know if they had thought she didn’t have the talent or if they just didn’t approve of writing as a profession. Their little girl needed a steady, reliable job and a more well-adjusted life than those writers they read about who culminated their lives with inauspicious ends, sticking their heads in ovens or choking on pill bottle caps.
Her ex-boyfriend had faulted her work ethic, telling her she would never finish it, like so many of her other projects. She hadn’t dumped him for that comment, but she should have. It would have saved her a lot of time and heartbreak and she would have had more time to devote to her true passion.
Although he hadn’t been entirely wrong. She had had a number of creative fancies over the years that had failed to reach fruition. But this was more than a project, this was her purpose. It had changed her life and she hoped that its existence would help to change others. Hopefully many others, but if it was only one or two, it was still worth the hours she had spent. She had doubted herself at times, but she had printed Nelson Mandela’s quote ``It always seems impossible until it’s done” and hung it on the wall behind her desk to remind herself to push through her doubts. And he had been right. There had been plenty of times it seemed impossible, but she had done it. Her novel was right there and it would remain: her legacy.
She wanted others to know that dreams can come true if you stay focused on the goal and are willing to put in some hard work. It had taken her a long time to become a writer, but that was because she had allowed others to put up roadblocks. She allowed herself to become distracted by what others told her was important rather than what she felt compelled to do. But she had cast them aside, focused her will, and done it.
With a smile she arose and went to the kitchen. She wanted to reward herself and couldn’t decide between death by chocolate ice cream and a glass of wine, ultimately deciding she deserved both. Sitting down to enjoy them, her mind went back over the late nights she had spent writing after work, the infinite number of drafts. She had done it.
Of course, that had been the easy part. She didn’t want to admit it, but she knew it was true. She had fallen in love with her characters, but now she needed to get a publisher to love them too, to love them enough to take a chance on her and on them. But she believed her story shared a message that the world needed to hear, especially right now with everything it was going through. People needed a sense of hope, and that was what she was going to cling to.
Tomorrow she would have to figure out how to best sell her story, have to reach out to countless publishing houses, have to figure out the best words to convey her message and to build a relationship with them that would enable her to share her story with the world at large. She would have to shine a spotlight on herself and her novel, have to build trust so that they would be willing to take a chance on her. She was no Mark Twain, but she knew her generation and what they needed. Maybe people wouldn’t be quoting her in years to come, but then again, maybe they would. And even if they didn’t, she just wanted to reach that one person, because isn’t that what life is about, making a difference in the lives of others? But you have to start small. One is a good starting point.
Tomorrow she would reach out to anyone who could help her disseminate her creation to the world. She knew she would not hear from many of the people she reached out to, and that many would reject her, but she had prepared herself for that. She just needed to find one person who believed in her the way she believed in herself, who saw the same wound in the world that she saw and believed that her novel would be the salve that could start them on the path of healing.
Tomorrow she would focus on that goal, but tonight was her day of rest. Tonight she would allow herself to savor the first of many victories. There would be more battles to come, but tonight was its own victory. She took a bite of ice cream, savoring its indulgent creaminess and allowing her mind a moment of rest. Tomorrow. . . it began again and the mountain in front of her seemed impossible to scale, but she looked at Nelson Mandela’s quote, took a sip of wine and quieted her mind. Tonight we rejoice and rest. Tomorrow we strive again she would do what she could with as much grace as she could muster - how the world responded would be up to it.