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Twenty thousand words! 20k! Holy WOW! & #WriteMotivation

A fathom-able achievement?

Yesterday, I achieved 20,000 words on my WIP#1. While it may not sound like a lot to you weathered novelists, it is super fantastic to me! I’m skipping, singing, jumping up and down, dancing, twirling. I’ve made it to 20,000 words on a single story! YAY!

This is starting to become solid for me. I never thought I could write a novel. NEVER! I’ve only written shorts, and had a few published as well. How was I going to make my words form a coherent structure long enough to sustain a novel? It was soooo long! HOW?! I never knew!

The whole process is new to me. Writing a novel is nothing like writing a short/flash story. I still have yet to find out if I am a plotter or a pantser. But at the moment, I think I am a little of both. Well, a lot of a pantser, with a little plotting thrown in for guidance. I plot in my head. I haven’t found a way to plot on paper, or on the computer yet. I just cannot wrap my head around it. But, I have my ideas for how the story should progress in my head. I go over it and over it and over it, making sure I don’t lose it. Though, sometimes I do, if I didn’t at least make a note somewhere. But the basic ideas still remain.


The biggest thing I have to remember, and I kick myself every day, is that I just have to write. I get stuck a lot and I find myself wanting that perfect word, or that scene just isn’t working the way it is supposed to. So I will sit there and stare at it, immersing myself in the scene until I can get it just right and then move on from there. This makes it so I sometimes only write a fifty words in a day, and sometimes I write a thousand.

I also make sure to kick myself every day about the word count. It’s not about a massive word count. It’s not about large numbers. The only number that is important is 1. ONE. One is the only number that means anything. It means, progression. One more word than you had a moment ago. It’s like walking. You have to put one foot in front of the other. You have to put one word down, and then another, and then another. And soon, you have a chapter. Eventually, I’m going to have a novel!


And then, I have to learn to edit, write a synopsis, a query, sum up my novel in a single sentence. UGH! I can’t think too far ahead or I will get overwhelmed again and dwell on the negative voice telling me I can’t do this.

So, with that said, I am going to reiterate my First Draft Golden Rule:

A single word = progression
Zero words = stagnation
Deleting words = regression


May Goals progression:

  1. Blog posts: I’ve managed to keep up with writing at least one a week! Yay!
  2. Onward, Ho! I’ve made it to over 20,000 words on WIP#1! I call that forward momentum! How about you?! 😀
  3. I think I’ve recovered, at least somewhat, on the twitter encouragement. Don’tcha think?
  4. Finished Becca’s critique last week! So proud of me! So proud of her! I was worried about being too geeky in a few of my catches, but she reassured me it was ok!

So, I guess I can say I’m on track with success!

How about you?! I always love to see comments, and hear your successes and try to cheer you up in your “not-so-successes”. Always remember ONE WORD, and you will be successful!



  1. Ping from alexander w:

    hello i just reached 20 000 words myself on my first novel and im making it up as i go along with alot of self doubt causing stagnation, this was so good to read i know im not the only one suffering from feeling more pants than plot but iv had the idea for the book in the back of my mind for years and i didnt want to make the effort to put it on paper to find out that it was rubbish but im taking the leap and trying my best, not being too hard on myself with the first draft or spending time reading things back and changing, getting the first draft done then re writing! but having just done 20, 000 words i do not know how im going to reach my goal of over 120,000 but im going to try and keep going and its so good to know theres someone else out there doing it too!

  2. Ping from Farrah:

    Well done! That’s a great achievement. Setting word count goals is a good day to motivate yourself and make the task of writing a novel less intimidating. 🙂

  3. Ping from Becca:

    Catching up on my blog reading and wanted to say well done, again, on getting so far. You’re knocking it out of the park!

  4. Ping from Rebekah Loper:

    Congrats on 20k! Hitting milestones like that is awesome, especially the first time 🙂

  5. Ping from Stephanie Berget:

    Jaime, congratulations, and I know where you are now. I’m editing, and I keep getting stuck on the right wording, etc. I’m going to keep your advise in mind and edit one word at a time. Progress.

  6. Ping from Melisse Aires:

    *Tosses confetti!* Congratulations!

    I started out writing 6-8k shorts, moved to 10-15k novellas and now am comfortable in the 35-45k novella range. I know I could leap to novel length now but haven’t tried it yet. Maybe soon, though.

    Be happy to help with synopsis etc any time. 🙂

  7. Ping from Christy Farmer:

    You can do this! I’m so proud of you and think your first draft golden rules are spot on!

  8. Ping from Valerie Lawson:

    so proud of you! that’s great! i remember feeling the same way when writing my first middle grade novel and thinking there was no way, no way! i could ever get to ten thousand words, then when i passed that, i couldn’t believe i’d ever get to fifteen thousand. i finally finished that one around 32,000 words, one day at a time. now, i’ve finished a second book at over 86,000 words the very same way.

    just as a suggestion, one thing that helps me with getting stuck on words or scenes that i know aren’t where i want them to be, is if i make a note using comments off to the side and then moving on and coming back to it later during the editing/revising process. if you open your toolbar for reviewing, you can see some excellent revising options that can help you with this.you can also highlight words that you want to change so you don’t stay stuck on them, just move on and keep going. first drafts are for mucking through. keep at it! you’re doing great!

  9. Ping from LadyJai:

    Gawwww I LOVE YOU GUYS!!! <3 😳 😆 :mrgreen:

  10. Ping from William Cash:

    Well done! 😎
    I did about that much when I got really serious to rework the project I was working on from a graphic novel into a proper novel. And I am so happy to see you are getting a lot of support for a stupendous job. 😉
    Don’t get complacent, keep hitting those keys. 🙂

  11. Ping from Adam Smith:

    20K is a fantastic achievement! Congratulations! It’s like driving on ice – just keep the wheels pointed in the right direction and your foot off the brake.

  12. Ping from Andrew Patterson:

    :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
    Lot’s of super green smilies for you, Jai! 😀 20K is an awesome number. If you count both stories together, you’ve written almost 30K of novels. :mrgreen:

    Good job on your goals, so very happy for you…and because you’ve been such a good girl…

    Have some flaming zombie cheerleader robot stripper pompoms serving up sparkly vampire dinosaur #writemotivation cookies.

    (didn’t think I could pull that one off, did ya?)


  13. Ping from Leigh Caroline:

    Whooooooooooooohooooooooooo!! 20k is 20,000 more words than a lot of people ever write! Keep at it!!

  14. Ping from Michael Haynes:

    Congratulations on hitting the big 2-0! 🙂

  15. Ping from Sylvia van Bruggen:

    Congratulations! No matter how experienced you are (or not) always celebrate your milestones I say 😀

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