I don’t count words. I do at the end. Sometimes I even forget to put page numbers down.
I’m intrigued when writers post things like :’Phew! 10,000 words done! Here we go!’ and so on. This may be a trivial post; just something to bounce readers of your FB along or to garner congrats but I don’t understand it; relative to me of course.
Most days I don’t write at all. When I do I’m content if I think I’ve written as well as I want to, if I’ve moved the story along, gotten to a point when it would be right to stop. My days are too busy with getting along in my own household to spend it writing.
My children and my wife are both at home with me all day so uninterrupted writing is impossible. In fact writing a couple of sentences at a time without some discourse going on is difficult. For example in the few minutes of writing this I have been asked to draw a circle around a piece of pipe, someone yelled ‘Can you hear me?’ and someone entered my room to ask if I knew my other son was double-jointed. Oh, and do I know where the dogs are and can I bring someone outside a bowl of warm, soapy water. All while I can be seen sitting at my desk with my headphones on and tapping at my keyboard. In fact before I finished that last sentence I’ve been asked to put together a shopping list and told we have to go to the plumbers to pick up a 45 degree corner joining pipe.
All of this is just to say that’s probably why I don’t bother counting words or chapters (I don’t put chapters in until the end either) because when I do write I know it won’t go on for long. This is my own fault in that I cannot write in the morning or at night. I write in the afternoon; when everybody else is also doing things or wants my participation. And I imagine that is how some of my reader’s lives are. Would I rather count 10,000 words as an achievement, or just one good page that I’m happy with and hope someone else will be too? I’m pretty sure readers don’t count the words. But they do number how much time they would need to spend caring about what they read. Or they can read a novel about another Roman general again.