Stock Markets and Word Counts

Graph showing that, after being opposed all year, fitness and academic goals converge in May. Donuts are featured in the background.

Fitness-Academic Graph by paul_danger_williams CC 3.0

The financial advice I’ve read says not to follow your stocks hourly or daily. The important thing to remember about investing is the performance over the long-run.

During my high school summers, I worked for a real estate agent as a go-for. A lot of my going was actually just doing things around the office. This agent was dating someone in the office and he also spent a lot of time in her office. Nothing tawdry ever happened. He just spent a lot of time on her computer checking his stocks. He followed their every minute fluctuation. Up a point, he was rolling in it. Down half a point, he was losing his shirt. Or so you’d think from his dances of joy and pouting slumps. And he’d trade accordingly.

I didn’t and don’t know anything about his finances, but I’m pretty sure he didn’t make millions by his strategy.

I always thought he was a little nuts, but right now, I’m feeling a bit like him. The only difference: instead of the DOW, I’m looking at MWO — my word count.

I’m editing Julia. Scratching some scenes completely and expanding other. Every few changes, I’ll look down at my word count (how evil that it’s right there at the bottom of my Word doc…and it’s magnetic, too). When the number goes up, I feel ridiculously giddy. When I cut a scene, I’m crushed to see the count go down (although, really, what did I think ‘delete’ was going to do?).

I know I need to look at the big picture and look at my word count performance over the long-term. It’s easier said than done.


2 thoughts on “Stock Markets and Word Counts

  1. bethfinke

    Here’s a serious question, I honestly am not trying to be snide. (Not even sure “snide” is the word I’m looking for, but hope you know what I mean.) Why does it matter how many words you have?

  2. Beth, Not a snide question. Maybe the word flip? I like that word. But, I know that’s not how you meant it either.

    Anyway, I’m writing this with an eye to publication and, from what I’ve read, agents won’t look at general fiction unless it’s around 52K. That’s not to say that if I finish my story before that, I shouldn’t shop it around, just that most agents will look at the word count and think that the story isn’t finished and that I don’t know what I’m I’m doing. Of course the latter may still be true.

    And, yes, I’m looking to go the agented route because most editors don’t take unsolicited manuscripts.

    Of course, this is all assuming that going the traditional publishing route is the best idea, but that’s another ten blog posts worth of pros and cons.

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