Writers are forever talking about word count. It's a measure of productivity. It's a dividing line between novel and novella. Between flash fiction and short story. It defines NaNoWriMo and provides a measure of heft in a 3-day Novel.
Agents and publishers will tell you a given genre can't exceed 75,000 or 85,000 or 100,000 words (I've heard all three, spoken with the same degree of certitude, and all from people whose opinion I respect).
Writers gush about their daily count, their biggest count, their fastest count, as though writing were an athletic pursuit.
Others groan that it takes them hours to craft a decent a paragraph, yet they produce bookloads of paragraphs, each laid next to another, in a stream that flows effortlessly from page one to page last. Are they superhuman? Do they even sweat?
And since writing is rewriting, how do you count that? If you slash 10,000 words from your opus, have you now written 95,000 and not 105,000? Or, even discounting the edits, have you in fact written 125,000? Is rewriting additive?
If it is, I must have written about three hundred thousand words on my first novel by now. Do I get a badge?
I'm wondering is all.
If you write, do word counts matter to you? Or just words.