Today’s is a special post—an update from a DearEditor.com reader who feared the dream of being a Writer was unattainable due to struggles with a mental illness that saps self-confidence. You supported JC with your comments, your suggestions, and your own stories of struggling for your dreams. With JC’s permission, then, I share with you the note that made my day.
Just wanted to update you on the progress of my non-fiction book. I decided to write a book about my experiences with a mental illness, which has been the basis of two questions I’ve submitted to you before (one on writing when you have a mental illness and another about word count intimidation).
Well, last week I managed to pass the 40,000-word mark of the first draft. That was important to me because I’ve held that figure of 40,000 to 60,000 words for a Young Adult Novel in my head as the goal I need to work towards. Obviously, I know that fiction is going to be much more difficult than factual content based on my experiences, but before this project, I hadn’t written anything more than five or six thousand words.
I’m currently using a blank document to write anything new so the scale of the main document (running at over 70 single-spaced pages now) doesn’t overwhelm me, and I’m just taking every day as it comes. I still have quite a bit more I want to say, but I take every word as a bonus now and I hope that reaching such a milestone offers hope that I’ll be able to achieve such a word count when I come to tackle my first Young Adult Novel. It still worries me that I won’t though.
Anyway, I just wanted to update you on my progress. I never thought I’d reach 40,000 words, it’s just such a large number. I’m going to keep writing though as if I’m writing on a blank document and I’ll just have to see how high that word count goes, whilst keeping in mind the quality of what I’m writing.
JCP.S. For more on this topic, read Creative Process