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.