Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Thoughts on word counts

So today the promised post about word counts and exactly what they mean to me. For some authors they are mile markers, a constant marker there journey would be incomplete without. For others they are simply an unnecessary distraction.

For me they are a measuring tool. I use word counts to keep track of how much of my writing time is spent writing and how much is spent screwing around. Because no matter how hard I try to unplug or focus, my writing looks a lot like Amanda Hocking's. And that's ok as long as at the end of the day I feel like I accomplished something. How do I know I accomplished something? By using word counts. That's it, that's what I use them for.

What's a reasonable word count for the day? Depends on how well everything is flowing and whether or not I had all day. Given all day with good flow I can easily do 3000-4000 words. But lately it hasn't been flowing, it's been a struggle to get one word in front of the other. Yesterday I fell short of my word goal by around 900 words. But I don't feel guilty because I didn't make that goal, because I know I spent part of that time stuck on some details and doing research. So considering how much of the day I spent trying to write and the headache I've had the last few days, I'm not unhappy with my 1600 words yesterday. Today I've already managed over a thousand words, though I had to take a break because it was getting too emotional. I hope to get another 1500 today, which shouldn't be hard since everything is flowing now.


  1. I think word counts can be great. I need to start setting editing goals. Ugh

  2. I got emotional too writing For The Love Of Cyprus but the book I'm writing now I more or less scare myself when I let something spooky happen lol. It's the history of something that happened where I live back in the Civil War but I'm turning it into a what if kind of story and linking it together in a trilogy of things that have then led to happenings in Atlanta, Ga. I'll probably have the cities of Roswell and Atlanta mad a me before it's over but let them get mad I'm enjoying writing this. I only what I've experienced along with some others and I'm gonna write about it. And yes I count words but not daily lol.

  3. People might not like using word counts, but they are an honest, no-nonsense approach to gauging productivity. I also use them as a tool although lately I'm sticking to chapter goals more strictly than word counts.

  4. I am a creature of logic...I will live and die by my word count. If I did not have a measure of what I have done, I would no longer find pleasure in it. I count knitting stitches too.