Thursday, 12 November 2009

One more day before getting to 50K & Word Count Motivation

Ok just a little post to blow my own trumpet - tomorrow I shall reach 50K. Today I did lowest ever word count in my NaNoWriMo project - 2105. But because I went out for a meal after work, I knew I wouldn't spend much time writing afterwards. So I had to move my goal to finish 50K from today to tomorrow. Current word count is 47170 So I need to do just 2830 to win the official NaNo But of course that's not where this will end, so I have got quite a way to go before finishing the challenge I want to win - between 85K to 90K Speaking of word count, I am kind of obsessed with them. Not just to post them, but also for myself, with my excel spreadsheet, because it really does help me in writing that little bit more. In fact, when I switch Finn on, and click the shortcut to my NaNo Folder, the first file I usually open is my WordCount spreadsheet, and then I leave it open. Then I open the points I am supposed to work on, and sometimes either the previous one or the next couple of ones to make sure where the story is coming from or going to. If I am having a particularly easy scene, then I just type and don't worry about the word count till I am done. But if I am kind of pushing myself (which is more often the case, especially when I am knackered), then I keep updating my WordCount spreadsheet after few paragraphs, so I can see the number going up, and that helps me write a little bit more. Same logic applies to updating wordcount progress bars on my blog or on AW signature or on NANO website. I look at the bar going up, and I can see how far I have come. What about you? Do wordcount motivate you, or do you hate the sight of spreadsheets or handwritten calculation or whatever?


  1. Wow. Just Wow. You are an amazing writing machine. Just curious, how many words do your chapters encompass? I've been basically writing a chapter a day, which usually equates to about 1800-2500 words (depending on what's going on). As to your question, I need to get my head off the idea of wordcounts, because I have noticed that the amount of writing I do lately has become less and less. I believe the culprit is the fact that I'm thinking about wordcount instead of telling the story.

  2. Way to go! That is already quite an accomplishment!

  3. Way to go! I am amazed.

    NaNo has really got me obsessed with my word count and I find it very motivating. I don't have an Excel sheet, but I love seeing my progress charted in that bar graph on the NaNo stats page. And seeing my writing buddies' word counts makes me that much more determined to keep up, too.

  4. Eric,
    I have no idea about chapter length, because I don't actually divide my book in chapters until much later stage. Currently, I write by followings "points" of my outline. I hope to have each point around 1000 words, but I don't force it. The length has so far varied between 200 to 2000 words, and I just try to write as many points per day as possible.

    I focus on the word count to motivate me, but not just on the word count. If I feel that I just can't write any more, then I stop.


    Thanks very much. :)


    What can I say, I am a spreadsheet addict! Also, I like to keep track of my daily progress in detail, and also have a record of how many words each point of my outline has, how many I did daily and all sorts of stuff. :P Bit insane, but works for me.

  5. I have a note pad on the desk beside my laptop that has three columns - date, daily words, & target. Every 5 days or so I tally up to see if I'm ahead or behind. At the end of day 10, I was behind by 5500 words, but I've already made 1000 of them up so I'm not too worried.

    It would probably be easier if I used a spread sheet, but somehow my little note pad is more motivating.

  6. I adore word count...I think because I like quantifying my progress in a solid way. That's one of the things I love so much about yWriter - my total word count and daily word counts are always right down there in the bottom right corner, and even the scene and chapter word counts are in the left column. I can see what I've done, and even how many words are in each chapter as I go along. I find that very motivating and organized.

    I actually have trouble "feeling" organized with edits, to be honest, because I can't quantify it in word counts anymore, but rather pages or chapters. Makes me feel less in control not to have an easy way to quantify my progress! ;-)

  7. C R,
    I doodle word counts on paper when I don't have my spreadsheet, but for the sake of convinience and keeping it in one place (cause I write outside my house too), excel works for me.

    I know exactly what you mean. I feel the same thing when editing. Especially because I don't necessarily divide my story in the chapter from the beginning so makes it even more pain. Oh well, that's December's problem.