Wordcount, Hemingway, and M̶e̶ YOU

Bright clear morning from sunrise to after lunch when the winds kicked up. Now my drapes float through the sun kissed rays that grace my library and I’m feeling oh so…snippy. And no, it’s not that. I was up all night writing, found out some bad news at 3a.m., and my neighbors kept me up for the period between the latter and 9:30a.m. No, not doing that. So I’m a bit whiny. Not a good thing to post something to the blogosphere when your cranky.

Oh k-sara. Though, my idol, Nora Ephron, scribbled, scribbled, scribbled (Note to dear reader; that’s a reference to one of her books.) and had her rants printed on actual paper. So back to snarking away. (Yes, it’s a word. Here are two more: Urban Dictionary.) I was going to write a detailed post about Evernote (with appropriate hyperlinks). In this detailed post, I would include all of the things that you can do with it (screenshots, tips, tricks and all with a jazzy title) for helping fellow writers.

However, after hearing from various informed sources the advice that it is better to hone posts down to bite sized bits as no one has time to read a manifesto (Do you?), I decided to do a little trimming. (see “Busy Blogger?”).

And who wants to read things written out like they are some dumb ninny who only knew how to hit the “Go” button on their computer and were at a loss after that? (Do you?)

Of course not. So in my rehabilitation from fainting outside of my doctors office and getting the hell away from Stethoscope Land only to be taken by a migraine-inducing truck to the Mother Ship of Stethoscopes, I wrote a concise and to the point post about how writers can find relief in their busy, stressful lives by using Evernote [EN]. I am and always have been proficient in EN since before the 1% ever heard of it. And, because I am a perfectionista (yes, i just made that up. The Bard did it, too.)  I honed some more. So instead of giving a Masterclass in Evernote, I chipped it down to one detail that would help those writers who also blog (target audience, kids, target audience)  that want to establish a relationship with larger websites by keeping track of their past comments, as they may be commenting on a guest post by the author on an entirely different site and they would want to establish a fellowship with the author by showing them that they have kept track of their On-In work. (That’s Lee-speak for On-Air but only on the Internet) 

So. Done. Good. Then I give myself a break from writing and counting my words (We’ll come to wordcounting in a minute. And no it’s not one word but after November, I bet it will be one.) I reward myself with checking my email first and see my newsletter from WordCount. I love WordCount. Michelle Rafter is a down-to-earth goddess. I am a writer, a freelancer and I earned a hard science degree from a university that excels at journalism. (Osmosis, people, osmosis.) I’m also a geek, so her site is right up my Lego-lovin’ alley. Low and behold, there is a guest poster on the site (as the goddess is a very busy woman). And she’s posting about EN and she’s going into great detail, including such tips as, ” ‘Notes are stored in electronic folders called ‘notebooks'”. With accompanying screenshot of an said “notebook”. The writer has been using EN since 2011 and has 193 notes. I’ve been using it since the Dawn of Time and have 1523. And no, it doesn’t pay to delete your notes as you don’t get storage credit for the deletion. Since I am in hard science, I thought I’d bring in a few numbers which help prove the fact that experience wins out on tips over screen grabs. (And I bet I’ve got more insurance than she does…) I did find fault with her incorrect description of the trunk, as it is far more than the one line note she gave it. But all in all, it was a fine guest post and what I had intended to do on my post. However, I am guessing, since this is digital freelance, that she got more for doing this post than increased inbound traffic to her site. Then I saw on another related topic, something with the tagline of my header tagline. See here.)

Now it’s true that I don’t own the phrase, “but it doesn’t have to hurt”. But is it a coincidence that just days after posting my concise and target post, this guest blogger posts on The Site de Goddess? And that there is a related article right under that post with my tag line that in the history of writing, Goddess has apparently never used?  You can refer to my screen grab for your own educated opinion. 

By now, my ever-educated readers will have caught on that I’m writing a farce. Of course this is all a coincidence, and I’m having fun. But I needed to increase my wordcount for the day and I’ve done so by checking wordcount.com, wordcounttool.com, wordcounter.net and something new called wordcount.is. Not to mention Michellerafter.com.
Summer has passed, the air starts cooling off, and young minds turn to the next holiday that involves sweets. The writer’s mind turns to (say it with me) Nanowrimo. Are our fingers limbered up? Just don’t do something stupid like Robert Schumann who wanted longer hands to play the piano with and devised a machine to lengthen his hands; only he broke them irretrievably so. Thus poor Clara, his wife and an accomplished pianist in her own right, had to play all of the works he wrote as composing was all that he could do from then on out. See, you do learn some things in a rant, don’t you? So back to writing words, not clef notes. There have been similar writing contest going on with different organizations and writers’ forums, et al for every month between January and now but November is the month upon which our sights are set. And because my mind wonders while I’m trying to work on my outline, I wondered what Hemingway would have thought of the old Twitter fad #wordcount. I have believed for a long time that he would have approved of Twitter as mankind is forced to use a concise amount of words to convey an idea. Though the bastardizing of the English language in an effort to stay under 140 characters would have made his stomach turn. The idea of counting words, though, may have made him as made as a raging bull. Even if it’s the net not the gross and you can’t count quotes. So speaking of quotes and in the spirit of the upcoming Nanowrimo, I thought I’d offer a quote from the man, himself.

It wasn’t by accident that the Gettysburg address was so short. The laws of prose writing are as immutable as those of flight, of mathematics, of physics.
—Ernest Hemingway

What do you do to get ready for NaNoWriMo? How do you use Evernote?
And what is your word count this month? Tell me all about it.

4 thoughts on “Wordcount, Hemingway, and M̶e̶ YOU

  1. lol. This was an interesting post… one of the more eclectic I’ve read in a while.

    My wordcount? I don’t really keep track, but a quick glance at my draft posts suggests about 10,000. I agree with your sentiment (or is it Hemmingways?) that word counts are a bit odd.

    As if just writing more will make people writers good enough to be read. Ah, if only it was that easy.

    • Over the years, as NaNoWrite has progressed, a lot of writers have made it the goal. (See Twitter #wordcount and you’ll see a lot of writers posting their word counts.) It is hoped that most of them understand that in the midst of editing, the quality of the words are just as important as the quantity, even after the net amount is accrued. Yes, it is important to keep writing so you have more to work with, but with the above sentiments in mind. And I agree with you that if we could just garner publishing contracts, articles, posts and “eyes on the page” from the amount of words, it certainly would be easy.
      Glad you appreciate the humor intended as it is a la Betsy Lerner. And in the form of a rant or romp (by way of theater) is ‘in your face’ humor with a lot of references and asides thrown in to the mix. And whatever the state of the word count is for the populace, I am sure your laudable figure of 10,000 is of the highest quality as I know your perfectionistic tendencies. Bravo. There is a follow up post to this mentioning that this site is in the process of moving over to http://www.thepointofthequill.com and thus, if you wouldn’t mind checking in the next day or so to make sure your subscription migrated, I would highly appreciate it. Best to you.

  2. Pingback: Wordcount, Hemingway, and M̶e̶ YOU | The Point of the Quill

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