(Quick work update: I've just finished reading for the first section of the next chapter. Tomorrow: new words, I swear.)
I've been reading some of Interesting Development's dissertation chapters, in part to offer commentary, but also so I'll understand more about his work (all together now: auww!). One of them that I've seen is rather long – over 20,000 words, not including notes.
I know there's a lot of variation in how long or short a writing project of any kind is. But it got me thinking about how my own work measures up. Seems that most academics feel either that they write "too short" or "too long." I'm one of the former. My dissertation was about 250 pages long; I've never published an article that cracked the 20-page mark in print. And yes, I have feelings of inadequacy about this.
On the other hand, I've heard plenty about how publishers in the humanities want shorter book manuscripts – fewer than 100,000 words, they say. And you'll notice that my little word counter (stubbornly unmoving, lo these many weeks) is calibrated to an MS of 95,000 words. But sometimes I wonder if I'm really writing a book, or just a pamphlet.
Of course, at the 44,500 words I've got so far, I won't even have that. Crap. Time to get writing.