Did you know that you may have already written enough?
If you make today's quote of 1667 words, at 5001 words you could have already written something that is the length of a story.
One of the stories in Shy Feet - Katie's Maps - was only 1777 words long.
One of the stories in London Eyes - The Wedding Bells of Bow - was just over 3000 words.
Several of the other stories in each collection were around 5000 words long.
The word count that defines a short story is considered to be 7500 words (though I have broken this "rule" on several occasions and will continue to do so). That's less than one day of writing away.
And now think of how far you can go if you make it to Week 2, or Week 3...
Wool, the book that launched successful author Hugh Howey's career, was only 12,000 words. That's just seven days of writing at NaNoWriMo-pace.
Animal Farm, the (other) book that made George Orwell one of the 20th century's finest authors is only 29,966 words long. That's 17 days of writing at NaNoWriMo-pace.
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck was also under 30,000 words long.
Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote is around 35,000 words long.
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad is only 38,206 words long. That's Day 22 to you and me.
Of course, there follows long hours of editing, amending, nurturing and lip-chewing, before it is something worthy of someone else's eyes. But that's not the point.
The point is you don't need many words to tell a story. You don't need 50,000 words to have something worth reading. In fact, of the 53,000+ words as the first draft of Shy Feet, more than 10,000 were chopped. That's the nature of writing.
But you can't make something from nothing. You can't make nothing better. And though I have no scientific research to back this up, I do believe the more you write, the more chance there is of having something worth reading. (And others seem to agree.)
So, if you make it to 5001 words today, feel proud. You shouldn't underestimate what you've already achieved, and it's only Day 3.
But you have to keep going to realise how much more you can achieve...
(P.S. If you make it past 5000 words today, when you update your NaNo word count, you'll get another badge! Woo hoo! Is it just me who gets excited by stuff like this?)
Bookmark this page for NaNoWriMo Daily Inspiration Posts, every day in November 2014.
Frances M. Thompson
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