Word Count!

When I started this whole writing thing, I told myself that I need to write one million words before I even think about getting truly serious.

Out of curiosity, I checked my total word count since I started writing, which was around mid-July 2016. I didn’t check all of my work—a few projects that didn’t go anywhere got left out of the count, and it obviously doesn’t account for words written for this blog or by hand—but I got the big stuff.

My expectations weren’t high. I felt like 2017 was a rough year overall, especially considering my burnout and subsequent mass deletion of old work. I just didn’t feel like I’d been productive in the last few months, and my depression only made that pessimistic belief more intense. But I thought it would be a good way to gauge my progress so far, and make some reassessments for my future writing.

I’m at 400,000. A totally unexpected number, and much higher than I thought it would be.

My old tally, taken in July 2017 after a year, was at 250,000. Which means that in six months, I added another 150k of typed words into Scrivener. The tally is an average of 20-25k per month, and that’s a pace I’m comfortable with. The plan going forward is to turn that word count average towards a single project, and see if I can actually get something completely drafted by the end of the year.

I’m going to take another count in July, when I’m officially past the two year mark, and see how I’m doing.

2 thoughts on “Word Count!

  1. I’ve heard that million word count thing before and always regarded it as one of those unsubstantiated old writer’s tales. Lore that a grizzled old writer passes on to the young neophyte, but there isn’t any factual basis behind it.

    There is absolutely no guarantee or proof that writing a random million words will make you a successful writer.

    Writing, analyzing what you wrote, taking stock of your progress will help much more than a random million word count.

    Reading, and reading some more, and reading yet again… reading millions of words by competent authors will get you further than writing an arbitrary amount of words.

    I mean, when you type your one millionth word there will be no magic wall you break through, no dazzling display of literary fireworks, and you certainly won’t be handed a diploma like the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz that will proclaim, “E Pluribus Writum, Now You Are a Writer.”

    In other words, you are a serious writer when you take your writing seriously. There is no goal line we writers cross to get there.

    Liked by 1 person

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