I’m working on my graduate thesis in the LaTeX document mark-up format, and trying to apply Anthony Burgess’ Martini Method. Basically, set a certain desired word count and let yourself relax after you’ve achieved that word count every day. I started off pretty well with this method, but the next day my wife Amanda went into labor, and my productivity has basically been a train wreck ever since.
I’m getting back on the horse.
Anyway, it’s a little tricky to apply the Martini Method when using LaTeX — as a markup language a bit like HTML, it’s full of special words, symbols, characters and whatnot that are not actually part of what you’re writing. A simple Emacs word count will not do the trick. Much as I’d love to count all of those extra words, the point here is to produce a certain volume of output and that would miss the point. Plus, it’s dishonest. There exists a PERL script that will parse LaTeX and count the non-special words. However, someone’s gone even a step further and made a nice web interface for it, with color coding and everything. That interface is here, apparently hosted by one Einar Andreas RÃ¸dland in Norway.
So far, it’s working quite well for me. Unfortunately, it just informed me that I’m not quite to my desired word count yet. More writing!