I hit the NaNoWriMo milestone today: 50,000 words! Never mind that it’s December 13, not November 30. Or that I started with 20,000 words I’d already written. Or that I still have miles of story left to tell…
It still feels like 50,000 is a magic number. That’s about 200 pages, maybe more if you count page breaks for chapters. Not to mention pages of dialogue!
But I know that what matters, when it comes to whether or not I’ll finish this novel, isn’t the word count at the bottom of my screen. It’s not the number of words; it’s the depth of my desire. How badly do I want to get this story told?
This is the fourth novel I’ve written, but I hope it’ll be the first one published. And if the experience of those first three taught me anything, it’s that writing your heart out doesn’t mean how many words you produce in a day. It means what’s going on in your head.
Are you eating, sleeping, and dreaming the story? Are the characters having long conversations in your head? Can you see that ending unfold before your eyes?
Then keep writing. Don’t count the words—just tell the story.
It’s got to be told, and you’re the only one who can tell it.