Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Weekly Word Count: Summary of July 2011

Does anyone else do this?  Last month, I moved away from my model of tracking the amount of time I spent writing (in 15-minute increments of course) to tracking actual word count.  I had the optimistic goal of writing 30,000 words (a little under 1000 words or 4 double-spaced typed pages a day).  I considered these words to be “raw output” for blog entries, freelance work and my creative projects.
Word Wall: End of the Year
Courtesy of cinderellasg via Flickr

I thought, hmm 1000 words of raw output shouldn’t be hard at all.  Using Dragon Naturally Speaking some of the time, I should be able to crank out that much and still have time for editing some of the raw words into content… Right?  Wrong.  Most days I generated between 300 and 500 words. July’s grand total: 13,026 words, for a daily average of about 434 words, or a little under half of my goal.

I found that I had hit good word count numbers during the early part of the month, getting more than 1300 words for several days.  It really wasn’t that hard.  The problem was that the rough output was not publishable, especially the words generated by using Dragon Naturally Speaking.  The program worked well, but in the situations where it didn’t work, it created errors that would be embarrassing if it was sent out there.  Dragon is working out to be a decent tool, but it does require careful editing, because it does manage to enter the wrong word occasionally and those wrong words are not going to be caught by the spell check.

Later in the month, a lot of rewriting of the raw output reduced the daily word count significantly.  I also had some freelance work that didn’t help me boost the numbers since it required a lot of editing and several revisions.

This month I’m changing the approach a little and not only tracking the daily word count, but the number of words generated for each of my writing projects.  I am planning to go well beyond last month’s 30,000 word goal (for reasons to be explained next week) and I’ll try to keep track of what I manage to achieve in 15 minute. I’ll post a summary every Monday so you can see my progress. So until next Monday… keep on writing!

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