Arbitrary Milestones

I passed 10,000 words on THE 7TH SACRIFICE this morning. This pleases me. I don't know why it pleases me more than passing 9,000 words or 11,000 words. 11,000 is more than 10,000 so why doesn't that please me more?

And it can't be some ridiculous "if I pass 10,000 then I know I'll finish it" because this very novel was abandoned at 27,000 words when last I attempted it (though this time around it's a bajillion times better--I have yet to describe the main character climbing down off his wagon and then climbing back up again).

For all that, I like passing 10,000 words. Perhaps it was all those times in my youth that I said, "I'm going to write a novel" only to fizzle out at 2500 words or some pathetic total that barely qualifies as a short story. 10,000 is progress. It says, you're working toward your goal.

I also like 50,000 words. 50,000 is the big number for me. I've never written a manuscript pass 50,000 words and not finished it. 50k, 100k, 150k are all obvious yet arbitrary milestones we assign because of our decimal-based learning structure. You can rope 10k in there too, as it is the essence of decimal.

It feels good, though. Especially to have done so so quickly. I had a lonely little intro chapter. Then I brainstormed with Liz. Now I have 10,000 words and a week hasn't even passed yet. That's pleasing. That's invigorating. This baby is on its way.

Writing is good.

(I'm coming down with something, though. You should see the stuff coming out of my nose. Not sure how much progress I'll make on the way home.)