One of the challenges of writing is constantly keeping yourself in a place where you are growing and expanding your trade and honing your skills. Writing is a discipline and like any discipline, it takes a lot of hard work and commitment to stay sharp. For many writers, the fact that this skill is something they can grow in throughout their lives is one of the most appealing aspects of the trade.
Whether you are a professional writer or a student, one thing that writers know all too well is the concept of word counts. A word count, in a lot of ways, is the bread and butter of writing. It’s not just a measurement of work done, but it helps set expectations and goals. Professional copywriters are very familiar with the concept of word counts because this is how they get paid. Learning how to write within the parameters of word counts is not something that is automatically intuitive, but actually takes time to learn.
Whenever writers begin to learn how to write certain word counts, it involves a certain amount of a learning curve. The challenge with writing for specific word counts comes in understanding how to convey a message, possibly even the same message, in varying levels of volume.
For instance, a writer may need to write about a similar subject matter but create multiple articles of varying lengths. So learning how to say something within the confines of 1000 words or 800, or 250 characters take time and patience to learn.
If you have been struggling to find ways to help perfect your ability to hit word counts as a writer, here are some tips and tricks that you can use to help you become more familiar with this skill.
First, See How You Feel With Your Word Count Goals
This is an important first step when learning how to grow in your ability to adequately, quickly, and efficiently write content at certain specific word counts. Everyone has a different experience when it comes to learning the skill of writing and no two journeys will ever be identical. So taking inventory to see where you are at with this particular skill set is important.
This will help you understand where you need to focus and what word counts are challenging for you to hit. For instance, if you are a copywriter, you might find that there are specific lengths of content that you have no trouble conveying clear, precis thoughts in, while there are others that you either overshoot or underperform on. There’s nothing more frustrating than feeling like you have said everything there is to say, and yet you still have another two or three hundred words left to hit.
So figuring out where you are naturally strong, and where you are weak is a great first step.
Get Creative With It
If you find that there are certain assignments that require a specific word count that you struggle to adequately and reliably hit, there are a couple of ways you can get creative with the process. For instance, take note of how you tackle a project – where do you start and how do you work towards the finished product?
If you always start with an outline, then maybe try free-form writing instead of mapping out the piece beforehand. If you find that you rarely use an outline first, then perhaps try switching this up, or start writing from the conclusion to the beginning. Changing up the way you write can help to jog some creative juices and get your brain to perform in fresh ways.
Use a Word Counting Software To Track Your Experience
Most people are aware of the fact that almost any word processing tool has the ability to give you a basic word count. While this is a good tool, and maybe leaving this word count visible while working is a good thing, it can also be a bad thing. Maybe the word count leers at you as you write and intimidates you, making its presence a negative stressor on your process.
There are high-quality word processing tools that help give you an in-depth analysis of your work that can be helpful. The Word Counter is a free, online tool that gives you an in-depth breakdown of your word count, character count, sentence, and paragraph count and even gives you a keyword analysis.
This is incredibly important when writing particularly challenging pieces because you can have a deep look into your work and correct mistakes. For instance, the keyword analysis lets you see how many repeating words you use throughout your piece which can help you make simple corrections that will help your piece feel fresh and not forced. Built with a grammar and spell check, Word Counter can be your one-stop shop for helping to polish your work and make it the best it can be.