Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
If you’re lucky enough to be paid for your writing, you know that “word count” is king. Magazine
editors demand articles based on word length. “I need 350 hilarious words on tech-support phone
calls,” an editor once told me. And novel writers typically boast about how many words are in their
latest efforts. “My next book is 350,000 words,” they say in stuffy, nasal voices. How do they know
how many words they wrote?
The best way to see how many words dwell in your document is to view the status bar. The word
count appears after the Words label, and the count is updated as you type.
When the status bar word count isn’t enough for you or isn’t visible, you can click the
Review tab and then, from the Proofing group, click the Word Count button, as shown in the margin.
The detailed Word Count dialog box appears, listing all sorts of word-counting trivia.
Click the Close button to banish the Word Count dialog box.
Also see Chapter 23 for information on inserting a Word Count field into your document.
Avoiding writer’s block
I don’t get writer’s block. I don’t even know what it is, though I can imagine. That’s because I know
the secret to getting rid of writer’s block. As with all deep truths and wisdom, foolish people will
scoff at this advice. They’ll mock it. But the wise writer will understand the meaning and press on,
to write more and more stuff.
The secret to getting rid of writer’s block? Lower your standards. If you can’t get the words on the
page, you’re shooting higher than you need to.
Don’t think it’s for a lack of talent that you have writer’s block; it’s merely that you haven’t yet
found how to exploit your talent at the level at which it works best. Therefore, lower your standards.
You’ll find that not only will you be more prolific but your stuff will read better as well.
It’s all in your head, right?