Monday, December 8, 2008

Day 34: Word Counts Move Slow with Big Words

Thought of the Day, brought on by a conversation the other night with some friends: Word counts add up much slower than pages do when you use big words. I'm noticing this a lot. I have 10 pages written total out of the 45 I have due for this week and next (that's three 15-page papers that are due), and I've been averaging barely over 250 words per page.

That's compared with an average of 350 words per page when I write fiction or creative non-fiction.

Ah, yes...different genres of writing do demand different sets of vocabulary. It does make me realize that my word output of the last month and a half is heftier in page count than I'd been thinking it was. Interesting.

Anyway, I need to plow out approximately another 10 pages today (i.e., 2500 words, it seems), so I'd better get to it soon, but before I go, I just wanted to mention that despite the common cold I've picked up, I'm actually enjoying this part better than I did the last couple of weeks.

The angsty part of the writing process for me is always that chaotic time when you've got these disparate ideas bouncing around in your head but have no idea how they'll come together to form a paper. That time for me is always filled with fears that there will never be a finished product.

Those fears lessen their grip on me, usually, once I actually get a good start on the writing, though. So despite the continuing knots in my back (which will relax once I hand in that final 15-pager), I'm enjoying the process much more now than I did a few weeks ago. Plus, I'm an accumulative learner, so I usually don't truly grasp the entirety of what I've learned in my courses for the semester until just about now, which is part of the enjoyment. I like watching the bits and pieces coalesce into a more unified whole, both in my head and on the paper.

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