Jay Lake (jaylake) wrote,
Jay Lake

[process] Counting words

As many of you know, I track word counts pretty carefully. This more of a work diary and productivity management thing than a creative process thing, but obviously the two areas have a very high degree of intersection. As discussed previously here and elsewhere, accounting for revisions is a challenge for me. This in turn causes some of my basic productivity metrics to hiccup. Obviously I could go to a time accounting of hands-on-keyboard, but given the highly variable nature of my personal life and my writing conditions, this seems ultimately less reflective of productivity.

I've made an essentially arbitrary decision that for productivity tracking purposes, I'm going to count words as follows:
  • Light line editing, minor or single-scene revisions: Credit as 25% of total word count
  • Moderate line editing or multi-scene revisions: Credit as 50% of total word count
  • Word-by-word editing of whole manuscript or wholesale revisions: Credit as 75% of total word count

Arbitrary? Yes. Unsatisfactory? Yes. But less unsatisfactory than doing no tracking at all, which is my current situation. Trying not to let perfect get in the way of good here.

Your thoughts? Your system?
Tags: process, writing

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