Coffee With Purps

Coffee Conversations with a Purple Girl

Bound to Word Count

On Monday I briefly considered being brief in my post. I thought I’d just make a short little post and move on with my day, but that is never ever the case, ever. Partially because I always seem to have more to say than I intended as part of my rambling nature, and partially because I am always looking at the word count at the bottom of the text box. It sits there and taunts me. 76 words, only 76, you have to do better than that. 85? Come on, you’ll never get to 1,500 that way. I realize that a 1,500 word blog post is a little long, but that was the goal for so long everything else seems so short. For those of you who don’t know, that’s a five page paper right there, and I have written many of them.

1,000 words is roughly a three page paper and I’ve done quite a few of those in my time as well. It’s a college thing. High school as far as I remember was just “Write a three page paper, but it has to be MLA standard, Times New Roman, 12 point font, (insert margin size here) and we’ll know if it’s not all of those things,” and just hope that that’s enough to keep students from trying to skew their paper length any way they can. In college it was always word counts. “Write me a 1,000 word paper for next Friday.” “Don’t for get your 1,500 word paper is due next week.” At least for the standard papers. I was once assigned a paper that was 300 words exactly. Not a word over, not a word under. It was for a cinema class to teach us to use our words wisely, or something. Dr. Mr. K is an interesting human.

Another place word count counted was submissions to the literary journal, which I did almost every semester. The cut off was 1,500 words to keep prose to a reasonable length. Made things difficult my senior year when I had a teacher switching up all the things and saying “Every story should be at least like 15 pages.” Which is a lot more than 1,500 words, let me tell you. Outside of college too word count persists. Do you know how long a novel is? Minimum 50,000 words, according to NaNoWriMo. I’ve been writing through November for like seven years now and watching my word count frantically over the month, trying to boost it up as much as possible before the end. I never do make it to 50,000.

So between school and novel writing word count has been ingrained in me to keep an eye on. Right now I’m at 439 words. I’ll probably keep writing until at least 500 words, because that seems like a reasonable length, apparently, for a blog post. If you could see the word count on all of my posts they are always at least 500 words long, with very rare exceptions. It just feels wrong somehow to write less than that. I realize that you don’t actually care how long this post is. I realize that I’m the only one worried about how many words are in each post, but I can’t stop thinking about it every time I sit down at the computer. 600 words or more is preferable, but then once I start hitting 1000 words I start to feel self-conscious about how much I’m writing and worry that you all are getting bored. I understand that reading the equivalent of a three page paper (double spaced) is probably pretty tedious. Then again, sometimes I get to 1,500 and then I feel really bad, but I usually also have something legit to say at that point, so that makes it a little better.

614 words. Yes, I’m still counting. Perhaps it’s just a writer thing, to obsessively count words. This is how I set goals for myself during NaNoWriMo. I was meant to write 1,000 words a day, at least, so that I would make it to 30,000 in theory by the end of the month. I rarely write during the weekends, though, so that never really works out. Maybe this year will be different. Anyway, I’ll stop rambling at you now. Have a lovely day, my friends.

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