Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A dangerous obsession

I remember the good old days. They were happy, carefree and full of candyfloss and toffee apples. *sighs wistfully* Ah, those were the days. I wish I could turn back the clock and appreciate each and every moment for what it was: pure freedom.

Of course, that was B.W.C.O. You know what I'm talking about, don't you? What?! YOU DON'T! Oh my. Before Word Count Obsession, of course.

Those heady days spent writing ENTANGLED, when I only looked at the word count when I'd finished writing for the day - and sometimes not even then. It just wasn't important to me. I didn't even think I'd reach the end of the novel, so word count was irrelevant. Such innocent times.

Alas, those days are long gone. Now my eyes are drawn to that number on the bottom of my word doc every couple of minutes. That number that refuses to rise as rapidly as I want it to. Every hundred words is noted...

Just... got... to.... reach... one thousand...

N.B. Imagine this in the manner of a certain cartoon character who always seemed to be talking to himself while struggling to climb a huge mountain. Here he is:

Lion-O! Thundercats! Hooooooooooooooo!

But I digress (yet still add to my word count, so who cares?!)... The point is that I wish I could free myself from Word Count Obsession. If only there was a cure. NaNoWriMo isn't exactly helping, even though I'm not participating. When you read on twitter that someone has written 1000 words in ten minutes, which happens to be the exact word count it's taken you all day to achieve, it's somewhat grrrrrrr-making to say the least.

Please tell me I'm not alone. Perhaps we could form some kind of support group.


  1. I wrote 2000 words while I read your blog (okay, this might be a lie). You're not alone, sometimes (um, all the time for me) getting words out feels like bleeding them out, one at a time.

  2. OK I can write about 2000 words a day if I knuckle down, I'm not one of these people who can just bang out 10k in a day and I suspect that is rare for ANY writer.

    I must say though, doing nano has made me a little obsessed with word count as I know I have daily targets. Still scared but still doing it! x

  3. Hmmm... yes I am addicted to word count as well. I aim for 1000 words and then I stop. I wouldn't want to strain a muscle in my finger LOL.
    For me, it is just a matter of doing it every day. I am a girl who thrives on routine.

  4. I'm so glad to hear I'm not alone. I wonder if there's a way to hide the word count in Word?

    Lynsey- good luck with your NaNo endeavours!

  5. Hehe I am doing NaNo too (though I have yet to start!), I haven't been obsessing on the word count much since I have ideas which have been sitting comfortably in my head for years, so they sort of flow, but they hardly make any sense and the next day I erase everything...

    When I don't know what to write I think of the stupidest thing that has happened to me in the last month (and believe me, I have plenty!) and i include it in the story, I obviously will erase it the next day but it will add a few hundred words to the word count ;)

    Good luck with the book :)