Recently, I finished the longest story I've ever written. It's 69,479 words.
I wrote my first real story two years ago. It seems longer than that, though. I've written three more short stories since and two longer stories. And now I've finally written one that's actually long enough to be a novel.
I started writing this story about seven or eight months ago.
The setting was sparked from a story I had written for school in fifth grade. It needed work, though, so I spent a few days world-building.
Then, I wrote three chapters and got stuck. Figuring this was just another dud story, I saved it, made a hard copy, and forgot about it.
Then one of my friends found it, read it, and demanded that I write the rest.
So I re-read it, figured out what was wrong with it, fixed it, and wrote another chapter. Then I dropped it again.
But I picked it up this summer and wrote until it was about 35,000 words. In the past few weeks, I wrote the other 35,000.
Writing this story was an enormous step towards writing publishable manuscripts. Towards the beginning, I was still sloppy and inexperienced, but by the end, I definitely show some more skill. I'm not there yet, but I'm getting closer.
And some day, you're going to see my books on the shelves.