Earlier this week I crossed the milestone of having written 500K words this year. I count any words that I consider “publicly consumable” – so fiction, non-fiction, blog, and newsletter. (I don’t count blurbs, ads, or email.)

Though I said I was thrilled to have such a large word count, and I told myself that I needed to be happy about it, when I sat down to think about it, I realized I wasn’t.

Took me a while to figure out what was going on in my head.

1) When I’d revisited my goals for the year, and refocused on my writing back in April or May, I’d set myself a goal of 800K for the year. 500K, or even 600K, was a disappointment. I needed to let go of that 800K count and actually celebrate what I had achieved.

2) 500K is too big of a number. It’s kind of meaningless. I had to break it down into smaller pieces so that it made more sense.

First of all, I’ve started and finished six novels this year. I’m in the middle of my seventh, and I’ll write another one before the end of the year.

So that’s eight novels in a year. That’s a number that means something to me, that I find impressive. Plus, I wrote the Labors of Darius, which is actually just one long story that I will put into a single spine at some point, so it’s kind of a novel. That would make nine novels for 2018.

That is a number I can celebrate. I consider that an achievement. Much more so than 500K.

Then I took that number a different way. 500K over ten months means I’ve averaged 50K per month.

That means that even though there was a month when I wrote NO WORDS, I’ve still managed to write 50K per month. That’s a novel every month this year. (Or for those of you doing NaNoWriMo, I’ve managed to NaNo every single month this year.)

That, also, is an achievement that I am proud of. Particularly given how rough the year started.

I’m still planning on 50K for the month of November, as well as the month of December. Because despite everything else, I think that’s doable for me.

And speaking of which…time to get back to the novel.

Hope your weekend has been glorious!

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