Writing a book is like raising a child. Both require care in order to grow and flourish. Both are labors of love that are rewarded by tangible results in the end. Each book I finish becomes one more child who has grown up and is now out there in the world on its own, making its way, influencing others along the way. It’s a daunting situation, but a fulfilling one at the same time.
With that being said, 50,000 words is a threshold I’ve only hit twice before when writing fiction, so it’s still the gold standard to me. When that word counter ticks from 49,999 to 50,000 something in me rejoices. It celebrates a milestone that I am not guaranteed I will ever reach again. I am humbled in the presence of so many words that, while spawned from my brain, represent so much more than the sum of their parts.
That was 171 words ago, at least as it relates to my latest novel. I still only have a working title, and I’m still only about 2/3rds of the way through the drafting process on it, but it’s looking more and more like a viable book. It has my writing style stamped securely on it even now. It has my character progressions down. And it is driven more by character emotion and interaction than anything else.
In fact, I wasn’t even watching the word counter when I passed that magical number, when I breezed right on by 50,000. I was focused on the impending meeting between my protagonist and her estranged father. I was lost in the world I created, but that also created me in this moment, when my characters are real, and I’m just as clueless as to what they’re going to say next as my reader will be once it’s published. That’s exhilarating in a way that I can’t even describe. You just have to live it.
So yes, 50,171 words, and counting. And I’ve never felt so alive.