The daily word count.

Considering how much of my writing in a day consists of e-mails and Facebook messages, I had a thought that in retrospect I find mildly disturbing. I strive for two-thousand words a day (at least on weekdays). Never mind how often lately I’ve been falling short of that goal. Should I include my personal communications with people in that word count? Of course the diligent writer with a work ethic in me says “no, of course not.” But let me explain this… at least to myself. Even though my personal communications with people may not be considered “serious” writing I still try to write them as well as I can. I tend to write verbose messages. I don’t spend a lot of time revising them so there are grammar mistakes and misspellings, not to mention style choices that I would probably not choose to keep in a piece of creative writing. Nevertheless, as far as messages on Facebook are concerned, they’re solid pieces of work.

So, to some degree these personal messages could be considered “practice” and their importance shouldn’t be ignored. But the fact remains that if I have to ask the question, “Should I include them in my two-thousand words?” then I have to re-examine what purpose those two-thousand words serve for me. Are they there just to sharpen my skills as a writer, or should I use them to further my progress in whatever short story or novel I’m working on? The idea was the latter (which would, in turn, include the former) is what I’m leaning towards.

This blog was originally intended to serve as the practice I need in writing and wasn’t supposed to be included in those two-thousand words, either. Yet lately I’ve been adding the word count of the blog and whatever fiction I’m writing together as my word count for the day and a sign that I should stop. On one hand, that signifies how much more important this blog has become to me as a form of expression and development. On the other, it could also be taken a sign of laziness and why I’m not getting my fiction done sooner. I’m shooting for quality versus quantity, but one could make the argument that quality begets quantity. I think the idea of daily word counts is established enough in the writing world that I don’t need to make an argument for it. Honestly, I write very fast to start with and in my most productive phases I’m very prolific. So why should a word count be a problem anyway?

I think I’ve come off of a few months of focusing my creativity on the Popkin-Salvador album, not to mention the time off I felt I needed. After that I was having a hard time coming up with any new material. I had a new story that I’ve been mentioning on this blog that I wanted to write. I’m putting that on hold at the moment as I started a new one last night. I’m rather pleased with how this one is going. The best part is that I don’t have to worry about sitting down and coming up with an outline. I’m loosely basing the story off of the first two Shadows of Immurement albums, using the track titles as plot points. Using the working title of “House of Immurement,” I’m turning it into a sort of haunted house story. Yet it isn’t going to be a character going into the house and getting scared shitless by ghosts and running out at the end. I’ve been toying with the idea of this story for a long time but I never really regarded it seriously. Last night I decided to go for it just to say that I wrote something for the day. I rather enjoy the writing style, which is inspired by the likes of Lovecraft (although I make no claim to writing exactly like him).

When I get going on a project that I’m excited about I do get more productive with it. Maybe that’s what I needed in order to fulfill my daily word count. We’ll see how this goes. In the meantime, I’m not going to include Facebook messages in that word count. If anything I should probably disconnect my computer when writing if I’m even having this discussion. It may not be necessary as I’m going to be writing something now that I really want to.

It could also be a sign that I’m probably annoying my friends by writing long Facebook messages. Ah, well… sucks to be them.


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