For all the nail-biting and concern about the idea of how I’d ever possibly get to 80,000 words in my first solid crack at writing a novel–what with all the celebrating reaching the half-way point, and the wondering if I should just throw in the towel on it, etc.–I passed that mark while working on it today.
I actually watched the word count tick over 80,000 as I typed, which was nice to see, probably most akin to watching certain key mileage turn up on your odometer.
I’m please to have reached it, of course. And there shall be celebrating to have pushed myself to get it that far; probably in some combination of ice, a tumbler, and some Irish cream. (I’ll wait until the sun goes down to have it, of course. I’m couth like that.)
But as so often seems to happen with certain goals we set ourselves, I’ve reached it and looked around and realized how much more there is yet to go. Which, perhaps thanks to proving to myself that I can make it to that important milestone after all the self-doubt, I’m taking in somewhat surprising stride.
I was briefly wondering if I may be pushing myself on it in order to get through this project sooner in order to finally work on other (ever-appealing) things, but I don’t think that’s it. As tends to be my way, I certainly haven’t gotten into a groove with it–when I work on it and how much I get through still varies wildly–but it’s just part of my daily thing now. If I don’t work on the novel during the day, I do it after things have wound down for the night. But I always, always work on it, just as for years now I’ve ensured I do something creative every day. These days, that’s the novel. (Or at least the novel, anyway… I may have started a new short story as well…)
In any case, particularly given all the calories I’ve burned getting up in my head and writing here stressing over how I’d ever get this far, I wanted to be sure to mark the day the goal was officially reached.
Things are looking good at 80,000 words, and that will be celebrated. But the marathon isn’t over. There’s plenty more to be done yet before even just the first draft is a wrap.