Counting words – and words that count

Do you count the words you write?

One technique I’ve used successfully with my writing is to keep a reasonably accurate count of the words I write each day. In some cases this is just an estimate. In most cases the count is quite accurate. I keep a record chart of the number of words I write each day, month and year. This process is a part of my goal setting with my writing. It helps to keep me on track and accountable to myself – no-one else is going to keep me on task.

It is my goal to write a thousand words a day. I am quite a bit shy of that goal this year because of my studies. I am part way through my Master of Arts in Creative writing. This course requires a large amount of reading which takes me away from actually writing words. I am willing to put up with this distraction while I am studying because all the reading is related to writing in some way. It is all part of improving my skills as a writer.

Do you count the words you write?

I would strongly recommend that you do. It is a good indicator of how you are going. It will tell you if you are making progress. Perhaps a thousand words a day is too ambitious for you, especially if you are studying (like me) or working full time or looking after a family of young children. Set a realistic goal. This may be only 100 or 200 words per day. Whatever your goal is – stick to it. By achieving this simple goal day after day that story, article, book or novel will get written. As you progress, make bigger goals. Stretch yourself as you develop as a writer.

Do you write words that count?

No – I am not talking in riddles here. Do not just count your words – make your words count. By that I mean – be ruthless when editing your writing. Cut out all unnecessary words. Keep your writing tight. Make every word count.

Good writing.


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