It took me awhile to even start tracking my word-count. I heard writers talking about it online, but never saw the point; there was a page-count at the bottom of my screen. What was the point in word-count? Why did all the writers use it?
I did some research and now find it hard to believe I never used it.
What is Word-count? Word-count tracks how many words are in a document or selection.
Accurate Page-Count: The page number at the bottom of the computer screen is likely wrong. I spent so long thinking my chapters were way too short–an average said 4 pages. These pages are not accurate for a book-sized page.
With word-count, you can get a much more accurate estimate of how many pages a work will be. 250 words is the average amount on a book page. If your chapter is 3000 words, you have about 12 pages. The page numbers at the bottom of the screen are usually much less, because a single page on, say, Open Office, holds about 500 words on average.
Logging Your Progress: With word-count, it becomes easy to log your progress. You select where you started in the document, and end the selection where you finished, and it will tell you how many words you wrote for that section. This is helpful when you’re continuing a chapter the next day and want to see your progress for only that day.
Setting Goals: Using word-count makes setting and increasing goals for amounts of writing much easier. You can start with a small goal per day. For example, 250 words a day. Then, you can slowly and moderately increase your goal. I find these goals extremely helpful to insure I keep up with my writing.
Word-count can be an incredibly helpful tool for writers, and I cannot recommend it more. With all of this in mind, go out and write your masterpiece!