When I started writing The Emris: Lost, I had done enough research to know that most publishers would like to see a novel's word count range from 80K to 100K. However, I wasn't thinking about word counts at the time. I needed to begin plucking the story from my head and putting it onto paper. It was sloshing around and flooding out all other thoughts.
At first, I tried writing by hand. It seemed rational; I could use a pencil and paper anywhere and I didn't have to worry about batteries failing. However, this proved far too slow. I switched to the manuscript template in MS Word. Much better.
It wasn't until I approached the halfway mark that I began to question my ability to reach the minimum 80K. Nonetheless, I pushed on, trusting that the words would come. They did, and as I approached 70K words, I began to wonder if I would stay under the 100K mark.
It's a leap of faith when you venture outside of the green fields you know -- a leap of faith in yourself. It's difficult to ignore the barrage of "you can't, you won't, you aren't" from your own mind. The barrage has never ceased for me, but I've learned to disregard it as trite noise.