Writerly Things 8/12/19: The Benefits of Not Counting Words
I stopped counting words about a year back. To be honest, it’s freeing and helps boost my creativity. Not that I don’t put the work in. I find pressuring myself to reach a thousand to two thousand or more limit stressful. Instead, I count paragraphs. Yeah, that’s right. I may only count three paragraphs for this story, three for another story, a poem here, edits on two projects here, but the fact is, it adds up. And that’s not to say, if I’m not in “the flow” that I don’t go onward as far as possible on that story.
Working on different projects also helps keep me motivated. I don’t get bored of one or the other because I’m always switching. It’s like in reading. I don’t just read one book all the way through (unless I have to return it). I read 3-4 or more books at a time, two chapters at a time each. It adds up like the word count and keeps me from drifting from the story at hand.
I see a lot of writers out there who torture themselves to fulfill a certain goal of words every day. They lose the joy. They get bored. They stop writing. I, personally, think if they just eased back, didn’t adhere to a strict count, they’d be much more fulfilled. It’s not about how many words we get down. Words which might have to be cut anyway. Filler words don’t help anything. Concentration does. Stick to a smaller goal. Even a sentence is better than nothing a day. Work up to a paragraph. Two. Three. More. What makes you comfortable. If you can do more, do it. This is about you and keeping you productive. Believe me, working on more than one project at a time gives you more material to work with at each time.
So, what about you? Do you write to a word count? Would you be happier, counting paragraphs or even pages? Have a great week, take care, and God bless!