The book I thought might make it to 70k is over 90k now and still going strong. I have reached the dragons. They've been a fun addition.
But I think things have been too easy for my MC. I'll have to change that up in the edit/rewrite. It's more important right now to get the basics down and know where the story will go at each step and where it will end. I love the saying that all first drafts are perfect because their only goal is to exist.
At some point in the last few days I topped 100k in my writing for the year so far. The word count has been a bit lower than I like for each day lately, but that was because I am feeling my way through a change point in the story. The dragons are more than fun to write -- they are a key that my MC needs to lead him to the next revelations and show him what he needs to do if he hopes to defeat the enemy.
So here is a little snippet from the start of the latest chapter:
I was on a dragon and flying off over the snow-covered mountains.
On a dragon.
Of all the nightmares about dragons that I had hoarded since my childhood, this was not one that had ever come up.
I write far better first drafts now than I did ten years ago. I am pleased when I read something I wrote a few years ago and it stands up far better than I had expected. Right now I'm reading a much older book, but I have rewritten it once from the original and it's better than I had hoped. It's even been fun.
Fun. There is the word that a lot of writers, especially new ones, think they need to avoid. Writing has to be work. If it isn't work, then it can't be worth anything, right? And if it's fun, then it obviously isn't work.
I see people trying to reconcile themselves with the idea that they enjoy writing when so many others are out there growling at every word they write.
Some people are just that way. It doesn't mean you have to be, too. It's all right to enjoy writing. I know that's hard to believe. I know that some of you have been taught that you need to suffer and share your angst to show you are a true artist, but it's just not true.
Writing, for many people, can be fun. It's not homework. The story doesn't have to be perfect on the first try. We are lucky because we have the wonderful tool called a first draft.
Oh, and don't tell me that you edit your story as you go because you can't stand to read it after you are done. If you hate it that much, why bother? And if you hate it that much, why should anyone else want to read it?
Write what you love. Enjoy the process.