Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Word Counts

Rough estimated total: 22000 words

And on the first day Of NaNoWriMo, I learned two valuable lessons.

1 - I can't keep track of exact word counts to save my life.

2 - Obsessively checking word count every time I stop to breathe, is very, very distracting.

Believe me, I understand the whole point of NaNo is to get people writing, and yes, one way to do that is by checking word counts. However, you could also do it like a professional, and just write until the story is finished. That's what I've been doing, I've almost reached the halfway goal of 50000 words for NaNo and it's only November 2nd.

See what I'm saying?

I'm a little surprised and a tad disappointed the organizers of NaNo are effectively teaching people very bad habits. The fact is word counts really isn't a measure of anything. Someone could have a final word count of a mere 500 words and still have a completed book, if all they're writing is a children's book with illustrations. Industry standard for traditional publishing, for first time novel manuscripts, is 64000. 50000 wouldn't be enough and automatically rejected by agents.

I know, plenty of people will disagree with me, and this is my very personal and humble opinion. I just don't feel, in all honesty, that participating in NaNo and the obsessive word counts will get anyone closer to becoming a professional author. There are much better ways to stay inspired and keep writing. I'm sorry, but that's just the way I feel. We're all entitled to our opinions.

I'll keep posting what word counts I can. Hopefully I don't discourage anyone from writing, because that's the last thing I'd want.

Now, if you don't mind, I have a book to finish up...

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