The dreaded word count. That evil monster that hides in your closet everyday and shows its face about the time that you want to stop writing and you realize you aren’t even close to that magic number. My word count is more of a ninja that jumps out of the darkness and roundhouse kicks me in the face whenever I want to stop short of my mark. The question a lot of people have to consider is: do they want to have this overlying demon looking them in the face everyday or can they call on the word fairies to keep the story rolling at an adequate pace?
I know that I have been presenting the word count as a demon in the previous paragraph, but in all honesty, in my situation the word count has been a savior. When I started down this journey to become an author, I was flying by the seat of my pants. I fell into the group of people that just wrote whenever the urge hit me. So as you know, since most of you have been in that spot, my stories were crap and there was no consistency in my writing. I would write occasionally for a few words and stories that should take weeks to finish, would take months and sometimes years. By adding in a word count, I have been able to stay on task and finish things when I should. Stability in my writing has really worked to keep my focus and keep my butt in the seat. Adding a word count will also help keep you on track after you get published and have to fight a new monster, the deadline monster.
How do you feel about a word count? If so, what amount of words seem to work for you?