Still writing, despite the protestations of a sore wrist and the distractions of wholesome, violent video games. Woohoo! I’ve also upped my daily goal from 800 to 1,000 words; this is partly to quicken my pace and partly a sort of psychological trick, because there’s something very satisfying about crossing each increment of 1,000 words. It just feels more productive. Which, technically, it is.

I think my favorite part of writing a novel is watching the little scrollbar on the side of the screen get smaller and smaller as your word count grows. Every day when I finish writing, I go through my super-paranoid (but still advisable) backup process: I email the full draft from my personal account to my work account. That way I have a copy on my laptop at home, a copy on both email servers, and a copy at work once I download it there. But each time I send it from Gmail, I open up the just-sent attachment as HTML and just scroll all the way down. It’s very gratifying to watch all those words go by, especially when you started with only a couple of pages. In that moment I forget about characters that need to be refined (Judy), chapters that need restructuring (the fourth one), and all the other loose ends that I’ll eventually need to address; instead, I can just let the text blur past and enjoy the fact that I’m producing something of length and depth.

It’s funny how novels are so damn long that even though I know I can finish one, I still doubt myself at the onset. Little exercises like this are great reassurance that yes, I can finish a book; maybe even a good one.