In 2019, after reading one of James Scott Bell‘s books on writing, I started keeping a spreadsheet with word counts for all the days that I write. Maintaining a word count spreadsheet is one of the best things I’ve done for my writing. Here are some stats that I’ve uncovered.
Stats from a word count spreadsheet
What I really enjoy about my word count spreadsheet is that I can do searches and discover data like this: My new novel, Seeking Sanctuary, is 69,329 words, and it took me 147 writing sessions to get that done. That comes in at 472 words per writing session.
Compare that to my first novel, Vulcan Rising, which came in at 71,358 words. I wrote that novel in 90 writing sessions, and 793 words per writing session. That’s a huge difference!
There was also a big disparity in that amount of time it took me to write each book. I started writing Vulcan Rising on 8/22/20 and finished the first draft on 12/4/20. Whereas, Seeking Sanctuary took me almost ten months to write (12/27/20-9/15/21).
This is only skimming the surface of the data that’s available since I’ve been keeping up with my word counts for the last couple of years. It makes me wish I’d been doing it since I started writing consistently in 2016.
You can follow along with this writing adventure at my “Word Count Chronicles” series here on Expectant Writer, in which I chronicled almost every day of my writing of the first novel, Vulcan Rising, and was less consistent with Seeking Sanctuary.