Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Who's counting?

I've been doing a lot of blog reading lately. I have lots of free time at work, and sometimes the best way to pass the time is to go out and explore the blogosphere. I mean if I am going to be part of this very vast community I might as well try and see as much of it as I can.

As you all know there are blogs of every shape and size out there, and a blog for every interest and thing there is. The possibilities are literally endless. Of course I am not going to read blogs that don't interest me. I don't go near political or overly religious blogs. I tend not to read blogs that focus on activities I am not interested in like sports for example. I read some mommy blogs, but obviously not because they are mommy blogs because I am not a mom.

I tend to be pulled toward writer blogs, humorous blogs, and food blogs. If you have been reading me long that shouldn't come as a shock at all. I mean throw in there some theater and hardcore geek blogs and I would be in heaven.

I realized the other day that the majority of the blogs I read that don't belong to my friends are actually writing blogs. Food blogs come in a close second, but writing seems to be my main focus. I always find writing blogs to be equal parts fascinating and frustrating.

I love reading about other writers ideas and processes and personal journeys. It is nice to see the things I think in my own head coming out of other peoples minds. Lots of other people. I am not the only person who thinks about stuff and that is reassuring.

At the same time there are a lot of the writing blogs that sort of make me want to punch someone. I can't even explain to you what it is about them that frustrates me so, but there is just something. The way they talk about everything they are doing and trying and just spinning their wheels makes me, I don't know, anxious. Yea I think that is the right word. It makes me anxious. Sorry I can't explain it any better than that.

One thing I always see in pretty much any writing blog, or hear from any of my writer friends for that matter, are word count goals. You always see it "I am going to sit down and write at least 1000 words today." "I am struggling to hit 10,000 words." "I could only get 500 words today." "Wow I finally made 20,000 words, it only took me a month of writing every single day.".

I get that word counts are a thing. I look at my word counts constantly. A lot is judged and measured by these numbers. The thing is though that I rarely have the issues above. When I do sit down to write I typically write at least 2000 words at a time, and that is without really trying or thinking about it.

I went to write the introduction for my WIP the other day.  It was just going to be a short introduction. I wasn't going to write a lot. When I finished about 2 hours later I had 10,000 words written for my introduction. I mean sure when I go in and edit it that number will probably go down some, but knowing me it might go up. So much for a short introduction.

It is like that with pretty much every scene I write. I sit down I write and an hour later I have a couple thousand words written down. Heck even with my blog posts I end up with lengthy counts. I guess I just am not good at writing things succinctly.

I just reread those last few paragraphs and realize it sounds like I am bragging there. I so totally am not. I am just saying it is how I write. When I write it just gushes out. Some people read fast, I write fast. I can't say it is a good thing or a bad thing. I mean I am pretty sure it just means I do a lot more editing in the end than people who only write a couple hundred words at a time. Or not. How should I know?

It sort of makes me want to work on writing concise things. Maybe if I focus on drabbles and flash fictions I might improve my over all craft. Sometimes more words don't make for a better story. Sometimes all I am doing is babbling and should just get to the point. Sometimes the babbling is good though.

Maybe though I should just count my blessings and not think too hard about my word count. More words. Less words. Words are words. The important thing is that I wrote them.


  1. Long in words comes naturally to you. Some may see it as a bonus, but if they've ever taken a long road trip with you they might think else wise.

  2. Definitely don't obsess over word count. If you aren't writing for a living, there's just no need, IMO.

    I'm kind of the same, BTW. When I write, it usually just pours out, then the urge leaves me for a while, so my average word count sucks. Which is fine, because I'm letting the story come out naturally, rather than forcing it.

  3. I'll be looking for your 1000 page novel next year, then? ;) just kidding!

  4. Hmm, I'm not a writing blog, or a food blog so how did you stumble upon my mess? Either way I agree with your post much higher up there about the canned nacho cheese, that shit is addicting. But it can't be the spicy jalapeno kind or I cry and my nose gets all sniffly.

  5. Swistle I think. Yea I am pretty sure I linked to you through Swistle. I've slept since then though, so I might be off.

    And I love spicy anything. I grew up on spicy food though so it is sort of old hat. Good thing too since I married a cajun cook.