I woke up at 2:11 this morning with the words for this post auditioning in my head. This happens a lot. The writing habit has become so ingrained that I often wake up (usually later in the morning, thankfully) with posts lying just below the surface waiting to be uncovered, brushed off, and turned into something readable.
Astrid's story was picking up momentum. More characters had arrived on the screen. I went from one character with no story to a beautiful ensemble cast and I liked how their stories were taking shape. It was still the early days. I was learning about these people and what their stories were. There was little dialogue between them, so my daily word count was near 450 words.
Dan had said earlier, “You know, a page a day for a year is a book. At the end of a year, you'd have 365 pages.”
I'm a word girl—not good with numbers. I'd never thought of that before. That suggestion burrowed in and took a nap in my mind. It woke up weeks into writing Astrid's story. I decided I was going to write 80,000 words of Astrid's story and see what I came up with.
My math whiz co-worker, Jana, and I were talking this idea outloud. “How many words are you writing a day?”
She did that math thing on a piece of scratch paper.
“Julie, if you keep up this rate, you'd have 80,000 words by the end of June or early July.”
It was February.
I gasped. “That's only four months from now!”
Jana's eyes lit up. “I know! You can totally do this.”
We talked more about this audacious goal. She walked back to her office and I tried to concentrate on my day job. 80,000 words. What was I getting myself into?