• Crystal Viljoen

The Immortal Wordcount


“The worst thing you write is better than the best thing you didn’t.”



I call it my Immortal word count. We all have one. It’s the TOTAL number of words written to date.

Your daily word count will fluctuate depending on your circumstances or motivation that day, but your total wordcount can only go up!


This stack of “words written” that you’ve been piling up over the years should be valued just as much as individual projects. Every word, brilliant or rubbish, is a step closer to greatness and once those words have been written they are yours forever, aka Immortal!

It is so important to consistently update and celebrate the Immortal word count.


I have personally participated in Nanowrimo three times and in the rush of trying to hit 50,000 words in a month the writing was NOT great. I was constantly changing my mind about the story line but couldn’t go back to fix it because I had a word count to hit. My lead character, Glennys, went from confused about her brother's movements to totally informed and angry at him to totally confused again over and over as I changed my mind about how much she should know.


It was unreadable!


The final 50,000 words were unsophisticated and schizophrenic, but I was 50,000 words better than when I started.

When I had recovered enough from Nanowrimo to work on the quality of my writing I had so much more to draw from. There are so many unexpected gems in the immortal word count. Turns of phrase, descriptions, characters and scenes that might get edited out of your current project but will be there waiting in the Immortal wordcount for the next one.


If you haven’t been keeping up with your immortal word count, then I encourage you to pull out your work over the years and calculate how many words you’ve written to date. Put it in your Mojo, then celebrate and continue to celebrate at every milestone! it will remind you that no matter what crap you wrote today you ARE a better writer for doing it and it will always be there for you as a gift of success when there aren’t any other successes to celebrate that day.

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