Some months ago, when I sheepishly embarked on the experiment to see if I have a novel in me, I did some research on word counts. I don't remember where I read it, but a couple of sources seemed to suggest that 50,000 words was the minimum for bridging the gap between novel and novella. And it's the count NaNoWriMo uses for their writers. The longest short story I'd ever written was about 1/12th of that, so I really wasn't sure I had it in me. But I figured it was a good benchmark, a good test to see if -- regardless of quality -- I was even capable of committing to such a project, producing that volume of writing.
As of yesterday, it turns out that I am. I did. After a week of pretty focused pushing-through, even when it felt like what I was hammering out was crap that wouldn't survive the next draft, I crossed the threshold of 50,000 words.
Man. That felt like...something.
I don't know quite where I'm going from here, but I'm working my way through the chapters in chronological order in the hopes of arriving at a coherent enough first draft that I can get it in front of some other people and start getting feedback. There is so much I still haven't figured out, so much I'm not sure about, so many holes that need filled. But I'm feeling a little more capable than I did a few months ago. And I'll take that for now.