Week Four: Jack and 50K Beanstalk
Once upon a time, there was a boy named Jack who had one month to cut down a 50,000 word beanstalk. Some days he cut down a lot of words, other days he didn’t cut down any. Finally, he had one week left, and he still had quite a bit of the beanstalk to cut down. He knew he had to go a little faster.
So every day, he cut down more of the beanstalk than he did the day before. He would cut some down in the morning before breakfast, and more at night before bed. Sometimes he would even cut down some words while eating lunch. There were still days when he was too busy to cut down any words, but he tried to cut some down on those days, anyway.
Finally, as the end of the month approached, the beanstalk had weakened so much that Jack made one final push and was able to push the rest of the beanstalk down.
This past month, you have been hacking away at your own 50,000 word beanstalk, and no matter how much you have written, you have taken a good chunk out of it just by starting to write it.
Many of you have already felled the 50,000 word beanstalk and have moved on to bigger beanstalks. Congratulations! It’s time to validate your novel and officially “win”!
You may have been keeping at par or close to par every day, plugging away steadily at the 50,000 word beanstalk until you now have around 10,000 words or less remaining. Good job! You are on track to finish by November 30th! Just keep doing what you’re doing 🙂
This pep talk is mainly for those of you who are behind. You have six days left. Try what Jack did. Write a little more today than you did yesterday. Write even more than that tomorrow. Keep writing as much as you can until you gain enough momentum to just push that beanstalk down and hit 50K.
If you are so far behind that you think you will probably not be able to reach 50K, that’s okay. You may still have close to 50,000 words left to write. First of all, it’s possible. It may seem crazy when people post that they finish 50,000 words in a week or less, but it has been done.
However, this is not realistic for most people. So now’s the time to reevaluate your beanstalk. Are you sure you had a 50,000 word beanstalk? Instead of a 50,000 word beanstalk, maybe you only had a 30,000 word beanstalk to begin with. You just didn’t notice at first. Or maybe it was really only a 20,000 word beanstalk that grew in your backyard.
It’s okay to set a new goal for the end of the month. Maybe you will try to hit 20K instead of 50K. That’s still 20,000 more words than you had when you started November. Maybe you can try writing a thousand words a day for the rest of the month. That will give you 6000 more words than what you had yesterday.
Wherever you are in your word count, you have six days left until happily ever after!
Stay strong! You can do it! Just keep writing!
ML for Los Angeles, California