I debated doing some kind of Imgur karma harvest with a feel-good post on hitting this milestone. I might before I go to bed, but it seems less likely now. That’s not because I’m not in a good mood; I’m feeling pretty great all told, even if it took a while tonight for the words to flow. I guess, it’s because I don’t need validation, even as I recognise that other perks come with such things. Enticing potential readers comes to mind.
54,800 words is TFS’s count as of tonight. I’ve noticed I only seem to get attached to wordcount as a whole past the 40,000 mark. I think that might be because of TSS’s first wordcount being that figure, so it always feels like an achievement to best it. I’ve been pretty introspective about that today though thinking back. Again, not in a low mood, but I can’t help but wonder what if I’d done all of this sooner.
I don’t think I was mature enough for a lifestyle like that of 1K back in the Autumn of 2011. I wasn’t for university that is for sure. In the closing days of the season, I finished writing ‘The Service to Ore’, polishing off the last 20,000 in a single night. That sounds impressive, but the book is not great. It’s also too painful to revisit, so much so I deleted the final 1/3rd when that trickled out in the ensuing years. I was a mess back then on a level that lockdown me isn’t even close to.
Jump forward a year, and I write 32,000 words of my first fictional novella, The Unreachable Star. Unlike the novel before it, this is a story I fall in love with, and one I’ve escaped to over the 8 and a half years since writing that first draft. But while I was more in control, university was still killing me, and I was still determined not to throw in the towel. That’s one of my largest regrets, financially and emotionally. Don’t think I ever got over it.
Jump again another two years, and I’m on the other end of university, and fresh out of a relationship that turned sour. I wrote the story I’d wanted to share with her, and even sent it to her on a USB. Never did hear back. Losing contact with her ranks up as another of those huge regrets; the relationship wasn’t right for either of us, but I never stopped wanting to be her friend. The feeling wasn’t mutual. As you’re only getting my side of that, I encourage you take my words with a pinch of salt.
Then two more years later, I double Unreachable’s length and then some. It’s such a rush, to call it a novel at last and not a novella. That is not to claim the latter is less worthy; a story is as long as it needs to be, and length is not everything, it’s what you do with it. Heh. But I was proud of it nonetheless. Still am, though the version you can read on WattPad is a vastly different one to the 2016 edit. A 2018 rewrite saw to that.
That’s maybe the earliest point a ‘1K’ could have taken root. I don’t think I was read though because my organisation skills were god awful still. I hadn’t started reading things like Getting Things Done and The Power of Habit back then, so I was on less than stable ground. I was in a new job, new relationship, but was still making mistakes that caused tension in both. That’s life.
So then we jump a final 2 years, and maybe then is the earliest 1K could have happened. In an ironic way, despite the whole point of the lifestyle being I make myself write at least 1,000 words a day no matter what, I don’t think I could or even should have forced it sooner. My life seems to work in 2s. 2012 was footing at uni but the beginning of the end, 2014 was a fresh start after falling low, and 2016 was its mirror image. 2018 saw my whole work team gone, my new relationship about to implode – and I knew it – and me feeling like I needed to break the cycle.
And then, we have 2020. I don’t need to tell you what defined this year; we all got sucked into the two-year cycle on that one, though I would hope this isn’t my fault. Every 2 years since about 2008 for me has featured a moment or period like this that changed the game, and a variety of new me’s came out of that. So I guess it’s testament to 1K, that I don’t feel corona did that. I’m bruised, my routine is shot and I’m stressed out. But business as usual continues, like it has for 600 days.
I’m not audacious enough to call 1K bulletproof, but it’s pretty darn robust. Don’t know where I’d be without it right now.