Everywhere I look I see writers talking and writing about “word count goals.” I first noticed this when I started seeing references to National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). People were frantically writing as many words as they possibly could, everywhere, all the time. I did not get this. Why focus on word count when you should be focusing on word quality? It bugged me. I got kind of judgy about it. But then, when I sent my novel to the editor, I decided to try it. Not necessarily the daily word count goals, but the daily writing practice. So every day, I wrote about my characters, added backstory to explain why they are the way they are, invented new adventures for them, researched new places for them to go. And after a few weeks of this, I realized that I am well on my way to writing book two of a series, rather than being finished with just one stand-alone book. So now I understand that there are two big benefits to daily writing practice and word count goals: 1. you are honing your craft; and 2. you are developing a treasure trove of material to mine for your future books.