Daily #74: Thirty thousand

Today, I’m going to start off by inserting two pictures. Here is the first:

As you can see, it’s a screenshot of a Google Document showing thirty thousand words. It happens to contain the first draft of my novel. And here is the second image:

This is a screenshot from the ‘Insights’ page of the WordPress admin panel. It shows the total number of words written on this blog.

Therefore, considering that number is fewer than 500 words away from thirty thousand, and that I write 500 words a day on this blog, once I publish this post, I will have reached 30,000 words on both my novel draft and this blog on the same day. Talk about a coincidence.

I’ve written about hitting milestones quite often on this blog, as both of these activities are things I’ve never done before. But as I add to these numbers, I can feel myself both improving my writing skills, and increasing my confidence. Before I started these projects, I considered myself a writer although I’d never finished anything longer than a short story. I’d never spent more than a couple hours a week working on my writing, and it had never really been one of my hobbies.

Since I began these two projects, I’ve finally been able to call myself a writer and not feel that niggling doubt every time. I spend at least an hour working on this blog, my draft, or both each day, and more often than not it shoots past that. I’m part of an amazing, supportive and constructive community, and feel at home discussing the work of myself and others. I have an active interest in improving, rather than assuming I’m fine as I am. In school, I think they called this a ‘growth mindset’.

One of the other things I’ve learned is that I can’t wait for a time when I ‘feel like’ writing. I always let that get in my way in the past, but now I’ve had to write as a job, I know that I must write regardless of how I feel. Moreover, I’m perfectly capable of writing well enough despite not being ‘in the mood’.

However, it hasn’t felt like as much of a slog as I thought it would. I actively want to write more. The first thought I had when I checked the latest word count on my draft is just that I wanted to add even more, despite writing 3,000 words today. I’m excited about getting back to it tomorrow, which I most certainly will. I’m aware that it won’t be like this throughout the whole draft, but I’m enjoying it for now.

And of course, I’m don’t intend to stop. My word target for my novel draft is around 80,000 words, or until the story is completed. And as for this blog, I don’t intend to stop in the near future – it’ll be a continuous project, no matter what else I’m up to. I’ll be going away soon with limited access to the internet, so I’m working on pre-writing some of the posts for that week. I refuse to miss a day!

I’m proud of my progress so far, but right now, I’m glad to give my hands a break. Until tomorrow.