Sometimes... a miscalculation can be a good thing.
I'll admit it, I'm a bit obsessed with word count on my current project. I just think it's fascinating how I started with 0, and every time I sit down to work, the number climbs, sometimes higher than expected! It's just a rewarding part of the experience for me... my efforts all tidied up into a compact yet telling number.
This past week, I've been doing lazy math with my WIP word count. I use Scrivener, so each of my chapters are separate. I see individual word count, but not whole manuscript word count (which would be inaccurate anyway because I write all sorts of notes in one "chapter" slot and also put everything I cut into another slot). I have to add everything up by hand for the grand total. Well, last night, I thought I was about 500 words from 40,000, but today I added everything up on a new sheet of paper with pretty pen colors, and then added it again... because my actual current word count is 41,151!!
It's such a spiffy feeling to know I've written more than I thought I did. Makes working toward the next goal of 45k that much more exciting (and closer!). Seriously, seeing these higher numbers, I'm making even MORE time to write. Staying up late... sitting at my computer when I really should be house cleaning. And the story itself is starting to really swing too, so that helps ;)
What about you? Ever write more than you thought you did and got excited about it? Do you even pay attention to word count until after your first draft is done? Or does word count motivate you, like it does me?