Counting the Words

amelia phoenix desertsong

I used to care way too much about word count. Why did I care so much about word count? Perhaps, it’s a bad habit picked up from my freelance writing career. Yet, word count was an important statistic for me even before. 

Word count is a measure of output. I try to write at least 200 words in every essay or prose piece that I write. Otherwise, it feels too short to bother, right?

Well, there was once a writing site that had an absurdly low character count (not words) requirement to post something. I’ll be honest. In retrospect, I don’t think it was a good thing. Let’s just say it didn’t last. But, it was a hell of a bang as it went.

However, short is not bad. It’s giving the words purpose that’s the key. I feel that if I can’t write at least 200 words about something, I probably shouldn’t bother.

This is where I get myself into trouble. I’ll be eschewing good topics because I don’t have enough words. But, even when I save blurbs to expand on later, ninety percent of the time I never do. They just sit there on my back burner. But, is that actually a problem?

I feel like counting words is like counting calories. It’s good to be aware of them, but you can get too obsessed. The general idea is fine, but you can go overboard. Yeah, you can actually write too many words just like you can binge on a greasy donut (yummy!)

But, wait, how can you write too many words? By this I mean writing for the sake of hitting a goal. Then, the writing just goes downhill and reads forced. Who wants that? 

That’s why as of writing this essay I no longer care about my word count in each thing that I write unless it’s an assignment. Otherwise, why should it matter?

Still, you know that I’ll check anyway…

~ Amelia <3

Writing words, spreading love, Amelia Desertsong primarily writes creative nonfiction articles, as well as dabbling in baseball, Pokemon, Magic the Gathering, and whatever else tickles her fancy.
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