Word count goals are magical. They motivate and push us to reach levels of productivity we didn’t know were possible. They are fun for those of us who like to measure progress, and meeting those goals feels amazing. But when we consistently overreach and do not hit our goals, it can be disheartening, and when we push too hard to hit a number, we aren’t always focusing on the quality of the work. That is the dark underbelly of word count goals.