Join Jessica Brody for an in-depth discussion in this video How to calculate your starting active daily word count (ADWC), part of Productivity Hacks for Writers.
(gentle music) - [Jessica] In this section I'll walk you through the process of calculating your Starting Active Daily Word Count, so we can create a baseline that we can measure your future progress against. We'll base this Active Daily Word Count on the first draft of your last or most recent project. It can be a finished novel, partially finished novel, short story, blog post, article, essay, whatever you have. For the calculation, we'll need two pieces of information.
One, the total word count of the first draft of your last project. If this is a project you're still working on, you'll use the current word count for the project. And two, the approximate number of days, weeks or months it took you to complete this project. If you're still working on it, this will be the number of days, weeks or months you've been working on it. Here's how to find the word count of your project. If you write in Microsoft Word, open the file and you'll see the total word count at the bottom of the screen here.
If you write in Scrivener, open the project and you'll see the total word count here, or here. Now for some math. Don't worry, we'll keep it nice and simple and you can use a calculator, I won't tell anyone. First we're going to calculate the number of days you spent on your first draft of your project. If the project only took you a few days, like a short story, essay, blog post or other short project, then you already have the number of days.
If your project was longer and took multiple months, then take the number of months you worked on or have been working on the first draft of your most recent project, and multiply that by 30 to get the number of days. For example, if you took six months to write the first draft, it would be six times 30 equals 180. Or if you took four and a half months, it would be 4.5 times 30, which equals 135 days. Don't worry about being exact here. Guesstimates are fine. We're just looking for a ballpark figure.
If you're dealing in weeks, multiply the number of weeks by seven to get the number of days. So if you've spent five weeks on your first draft, that's five times seven, or 35 days. Now we'll divide the total word count of your first draft, or how much you've written so far, by the total number of days it took you to write it. For example, if it took you 180 days or six months to write a 75,000 word first draft, your Active Daily Word Count is 416 words per day. 75,000 divided by 180.
Check out the PDF handout in the resources section of this lecture if you need more help calculating your Active Daily Word Count. So right now you might be saying, but that's not accurate, I didn't actually write every day in those six months or whatever the time frame may be. But actually, it's very accurate. Your Active Daily Word Count is defined by the number of days it took you to finish a first draft. From the day you started to the day you finished. And one of the goals of this course is to increase that Active Daily Word Count. So obviously one of the quickest ways to to that is to write every day.
Which is why several lectures in this course are dedicated to strategies and hacks to help you establish a daily routine that not only gets you into the habit of writing and being inspired to write every day, but also increases the number of words you can write each day. Thus, increasing your Active Daily Word Count, decreasing the amount of time it takes you to finish a first draft, and increasing the number of projects you can complete each year. See? Math can be fun!
- Tracking your daily word count
- Dressing the part
- Fueling your body and soul
- Training your brain waves
- Creating a productive workspace
- Mobile device hacks and apps for writers