I’ve just passed the 40,000 word mark in the new novel I’m working on. My first novel ended up around 60,000 words, and I expect this one to be a bit longer, so I think I might be about halfway done. It has taken me a long time to reach this point. Some people can write 40,000 words in a few weeks. I’ve been working on this for a couple of years, and much of that has been just sketching out characters, writing plot outlines, and researching. And I’ve also put it down several times for weeks or even months at a time.
I tend to write slowly, and I do all the things you aren’t supposed to do when you are writing a book. You are supposed to just write and write and write and don’t start revising until you reach the end. You are supposed to devote time to it every day at a particular time.
I torment myself over the wording of every sentence before I type it. I’m terrible at free writing. I will revise a chapter two or three times before I start the next chapter. Especially if I’ve taken a break from the work for a while, I will start from the beginning and revise everything I’d written so far before I start adding more to it. I write every day, but sometimes that is just writing for work or writing in this blog. Some days I don’t make any headway whatsoever in the novel or in any of the short stories I might be working on.
Really, it’s amazing I get anything done at all. So I just wanted to commemorate here this little moment of victory over the written word. 40,000 words. Done. Halfway done anyway.