Reflections on Using Word Counts

Hmmm . . . let's see, that makes
one word, two words, wait . . .
what's a word?
Up until my participation in NaNoWriMo 2011, I never really thought about word counts. In fact, my view of counting words as a motivational writing practice was dim, especially when working with young writers. Although, I’m still not sure how I feel about using word counts with kids, I’ve completely changed my tune about using them personally. So much that I am attempting another writing challenge for the month of December. My goal is to write 500 words a day. Since it is a personal goal, I get to make my own rules about what kind of writing I can include in my word count. I don’t imagine I would count emails or texts although I could if I chose to. I want to work at producing words that will help me grow as a writer.

The whole NaNoWriMo thing has had sort of a weird impact on me. Not at all what I expected. The biggest thing I learned is so simple I feel dorky writing it. Writers need to write a lot to get better at writing. Duh. I knew that, didn’t I? And writing fiction is very different from composing a blog post. But I was able to use many of the ideas that I played with in SOL’s in numerous scenes throughout the book. I still snort and chuckle when I write that. A book. I wrote a book. And I don’t care if anyone but me ever reads it. It is a piece of me. And with writing the previous sentence, I’ve gone from chuckling to blubbering like a bawl baby. Maybe I’m just tired or menopausal. I’m telling you, this thing has really changed me. By the way, I just wrote two-hundred-ninety-three words.

1 comment:

  1. Loved your post. I am trying to write 250 words when I have a short slice to write. I had 249 on todays slice.
    "Writers need to write a lot to get better at writing."
    Thank you for writing that :) I knew that writers had to write. But I didn't realize how having to write every day, helped me write.


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