J. R. R. Tolkien’s “Leaf by Niggle” is a marvelous exploration of a artist whose finds that perfectionism, procrastination, and distractions keep him from creating the marvelous painting he envisioned.
There’s good news. Someone has created a fan-fiction dramatization of the story that’s so visually rich and well done it should be called pro-fiction. You can find it here:
The train journey he must take is symbolic of death, which puts an end to his often frustrated labors, so much so that he’s only able to paint a single leaf in that painting he’d planned (hence the title).
The parallels to Tolkien’s plans for Middle Earth are obvious. Authors may take comfort in what Tolkien said.
–Michael W. Perry, author of Untangling Tolkien