Keep Your Nose to the Keyboard #MFRW

For week 23 of the Marketing for Romance Writers blog hop, the prompt is:

Word Counts Matter. How much? How often?

I’m a numbers person. Back in school, I did pretty well on standardized tests of verbal skills — but much better in number skills.  It’s no surprise, then, that I create several spreadsheets for each WIP. One spreadsheet helps me keep track of my daily word counts and spurs me to write more. Another tracks information about each chapter.

I’m almost ashamed to show you this example from my current WIP, Secrets of Love and War, because my word counts have been so weak, but … what the heck.  Promise you won’t think less of me?

Spreadsheet a


You’ll notice that there are some days where I write nothing. Listing those days in black and white shames me, even though I’m the only one to see them (usually).

It’s kind of like Weight Watchers. The more honest you are ajbout writing down your daily totals, the most weight you’ll lose . . . or books you’ll write.

What about you? Do you keep track of word counts? Does it help you keep your nose to the keyboard?

Click here to enter your link and/or check out the cool romance writers taking part in this blog hop.



  1. Sherry Lewis · · Reply

    I am not really a numbers person, but for some reason your spreadsheet fascinates me. I spent far too long trying to figure out what each of the columns was tracking. I am now fighting the urge to procrastinate writing this morning by creating a spreadsheet for myself. There’s no telling how this will end up.

    1. I’m counting on you to come up a system that works for Number One, you. Does that compute for you?

  2. Wow, you are very detailed in how you track your word count. That’s awesome. I would never have thought of keeping a spreadsheet for something like that.

    1. It wouldn’t occur to me not to track this information. Seeing how much I’ve done helps to motivate me to keep going or to get my rear in gear.

  3. Every word counts- even if you have to cut it later. It gets the muse flowing. If I’m not tracking it, I end up with far too many days passing me by with no words.

    1. A woman after my own heart!

  4. I used to log my daily word count at the end of each day on my blog. Nowadays, if I’m ‘in the zone’, I’ll post it on Facebook.

    1. I cannot imagine being that public with my word counts. I felt kinda naked posting even this little snippet for public viewing.

  5. I’m definitely not a numbers person, Ed, but I congratulate you for being one. The only time I count daily word count is when I’m participating in NaNoWriMo. I’m more concerned with the final word count of my book, which is usually longer than I think it should be. 🙂 Have a nice weekend.

    1. I do the spreadsheet thing only because it helps me. If it didn’t help, then I’d be foolish to bother.

  6. I love seeing how other authors keep track of production. I used to keep track of word count and hours spent writing, also hours spent on marketing, thinking ahead to an IRS audit. I kind of dropped the ball on that in the last few months.

    And totally off-topic, Ed–congratulations on your RONE final! Are you attending InD’Scribe? I’ll be there, sharing a table with author Alanna Lucas, and would love to congratulate you in person.

    1. Thanks for congratulations, Alina. InD’Scribe is a possibility, since it’s a day’s drive from Tucson. I do wonder how many actual readers attend.

      1. There weren’t a whole lot of readers at the first one in Palm Springs a couple of years ago. That’s why she moved it to Burbank last year. I was only able to go on Friday last year, but I’m going to give it a shot with a signing table this year. It’s so hard in California to get readers to attend these events. Too many other distractions!

      2. Hmm. This doesn’t help decide me. Palm Springs would’ve worked better for me than Burbank, as I have a nephew there I could probably have stayed with.

  7. I’ve tried writing a certain number of words per day before and it hasn’t helped me. I do think if I was more focused and knew what I wanted to happen in the story then that would help me write enough everyday when I tried. I know people who create outlines for their stories too. I feel like organized writers get stuff done.
    Thanks for visiting #getsocial17

    1. One trick that I sometimes use: when I finish writing for the day, I jot down a couple sentences about what is going to happen next. Those sentences give me a jump start when I return to writing.

  8. I love your spreadsheet. I can see where that would help to keep me on track. I haven’t written in at least six weeks, due to some life interventions, but I think I’ll borrow your idea to help me get back in the groove. (Congrats, too, on your RONE final!)

    1. I sure hope the spreadsheet idea helps, Robin, and I also hope life stops intervening.

  9. I keep track of my word count, when I keep track, in my planner. But lately I’ve just been writing and when I look at the numbers, they’re more than when I set a goal. I’m glad spreadsheets work for you. And, congratulations on being a RONE finalist!

    1. Chacun a son gout, I always say.

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