My first full draft for my writing class’s final project is finished. 6,300 words (plus or minus 25 words). The only thing I’ve ever written that comes close to that length is my undergrad senior thesis, and that inchoate mess included 10 pages of plots and an appendix that summarized the main paper. Also it was about the water content in Jupiter’s atmosphere. We’ll find out by the end of the year if my prediction of 10x solar abundance for water was right.
What’s so crazy about those 6,300 words is that, once I had the first 3,000 down, getting to 4,000 was easy. Getting to 4,500 was tough. Getting to 8,000 might be the easiest. There are parts to this story that I have so thoroughly fleshed out in my brain, that, if I stay motivated, I should be able to get to 15,000 words by the end of the semester. And, stuff I have in the 6,300 that I added on a lark could easily be revisited later in the text to add another 5,000 to 6,000 words. Probably much more. Writing suddenly feels so much easier (if I stay motivated).
In explaining this to Canelli, I likened this to starting training for a marathon. When you’re running 6 miles a day, 26.2 still seems like a long way off, but vaguely doable. But once you do your first 12 mile run, suddenly 26.2 becomes very doable. Obviously I’m running one of those 50-mile marathons here, but even still, after my first 6 miles of words, it’s a long way off but doable. I’m very encouraged by this.
I’m more so encouraged by my wife’s assessment of the last 4,000 words:
[T]he whole thing is bonkers.
Which is what I was aiming for. In the workshop portion of the class, we’ve gotten tiny Austrian villages rebelling against the Nazis, Beyonce fan fiction, an incredibly well written story about domestic abuse, an 18-page description of fuck-I-don’t-even-know-because-I-stopped-reading-after-4-pages. But what we haven’t gotten so far is “bonkers.” So that’s what I aimed for. And, according to Amanda, that’s what I delivered. That, to me, is even more encouraging than hitting the 6k word mark.
I’m going to keep working this draft until Thursday. We review it in class on the 23rd.