Saturday, December 20, 2008

Word Counting

It's time for my monthly word count update, and for once I am proud of the progress I have made.

59317 / 85000 words. 70% done!

Yes, 70% done, which mathematically
speaking (writerly speaking, the percentages left could be much higher) means only 30% left! I've never been a big number person, but for some reason these numbers speak to me.

I've also since October been using a spreadsheet, given to me by the excellent Elena of Mindless Musings, and have become obsessed with the daily ritual of inputting my word count progress. Being forced to do the math (confession: I use the calculator on my computer) makes me see in black and white when I've only managed to get 200 hundred words and should push myself to write a little bit more, or (sadly) less often when I've written over a thousand and can give myself a little pat on the back.

I can also see patterns emerging - like when I sit down to write the first spurt of what comes out is usually around 250 words. That's usually stuff that's been percolating in my brain since my last writing session. I usually have a pretty good idea of what the next 250 should be as well. That gets me to 500 (this I figured out without the aid of a calculator). To get past that, I usually need to play a little Snood, surf a little internet, and check my email as if the answers might be lurking there. Sometimes nothing comes and I leave it for tomorrow and other times I find something else that gets me to 800, 900, or even 1000. I really like it when I hit 1000.

Anybody else find counting words helpful? Or does it do the opposite and make you focus on quantity and not quality of your words?


  1. I laughed right out loud at the math "you did yourself"! That was awe-some. I'm glad you like the spreadsheet. I love it too. I like looking at the patterns too.

    I've done terrible this month, but it's been a revising month, not a writing month. Congrats Kate! Only 30% to go!

  2. I like to see the numbers go up - get frustrated when they stay the same too long (which at the moment is where I'm at...not a happy camper..waaaa)