Many writers live and die by milestones: first submission, first rejection, first non-horrible rejection, first sale, first pro sale, first novel chapter, first novel… you get the idea.
I am definitely one of these writers. In fact, sometimes I go a little overboard. First 10 pages. First 12 pages. First 2500 words. First paragraph that doesn’t include the word ‘punch’! First non-horrible mention in Locus. First chapter written without the aid of caffeine or other mind-altering substances… you get the idea again.
Are these milestones actually motivational aids, or just my way of inventing success? Hard to say.
What I can say, is that my new novel broke 10,000 words over the weekend. It’s not much, frankly, but it’s a milestone, and it excites me. 10,000 words is about one-sixth of the book. I only have to do what I’ve done, a little differently, six more times—clearly this is cause for celebration! (Even if I end up cutting most of the chapters, and I’m actually at, say, about 3,500 words instead.)
Writers are wicked strange beasts. What are some of your more unusual milestones?