Any words are better than no words. More words are better than fewer words. Every author is obsessed with word count. Whether it be the goal they have in mind, or a limit for a submission call, or a minimum to get it considered, the word count is always on an author’s mind. It’s always on my mind.
But here’s the thing: sometimes, even 1,000 words can be a win.
As I sat staring at my WIP the other night, I started making tweaks. I couldn’t seem to move forward with the story, but I was reading back through the last two chapters I had written and I found places that needed a bit more explanation. I found words that I didn’t like and deleted them to replace them with others. I changed the order of sentences and moved paragraphs around. I futzed and finagled and refined. I wasn’t making progress on the plotline, but I was crafting the story that I wanted to tell.
When all was said and done, the manuscript grew by about 1,000 words. And as I sat back and looked at the word count, as I read through the chapters as they were now (still missing some typos, by the way) I had a profound sense of accomplishment. And it occurred to me in that moment that the extra words weren’t the reason, but more that I had written things the way that I wanted them.
It’s not perfect yet. Not that it’ll ever be perfect, of course. But I know there are places where I want to edit and change and fix some more. There is more tweaking to be done in those chapters. And on the manuscript as a whole. But those 1,000 words are a win, not because of the amount of words, but because of what they accomplished.
Because of what I accomplished.
And that is absolutely an amazing place to be.