This is my new favorite number, and no, I didn’t win a jackpot. It’s not my salary or the balance in my savings account. It’s the word count for the historical romance novel I finally finished writing! It’s still rough in spots, but I was determined to keep at it, without stopping to nitpick, right until THE END.

Word Count

Hi Cortana, how many words in my recently completed romance novel? 74,751 did you say?!

If necessity is the mother of invention, then burning desire is the father of creation. My burning desire to fulfill my dream of completing and publishing a novel drove me to type like a fiend during a recent vacation. That, and the sudden clarity that if I truly want to achieve this long-held dream , I have to make it happen. It is entirely my responsibility to make this a priority, and to believe in myself, my story, and my ability 100 percent – no apologies, no excuses, no downplaying anything.

If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.  ~Unknown

My novel, my story, my baby, has taken on various forms over the years. I started it about 10 years ago, with nothing but a handful of characters, a loose premise, a seaside setting, and a cache of random scenes that I had to somehow connect. At one point, I learned that Harlequin Romance had an e-line which accepted un-agented novellas. This seemed like a manageable place to start as a novice fiction writer. I fleshed out the story to about 15,000 words and submitted it via email. Two years later, almost to the day, I received an email reply from a Harlequin editor saying how sorry she was, but they’d closed that line two years before and thought the email address closed with it. Only recently did they realize folks were still submitting to it. She encouraged me to submit another story to a different line.

I was inspired by the email. They hadn’t flat out rejected me. I decided to expand the story to 55,000-75,000 words, since the other lines required this range. Now I have to smooth out the rough edges, write a new query letter and synopsis, and attempt to navigate the mysterious world of publishing (I’ve decided not to re-submit to Harlequin). That’s where the real work begins.

So that’s where my beloved novel stands. I am beyond excited that it’s come this far. Whatever the outcome, I know that nothing which hails from the creative spirit is ever a wasted effort.

What’s your burning desire? Are you willing to do whatever it takes to set it in motion?