Reset Session Target Should (optionally) Reset Writing History for the day

Hello - not sure where to put this exactly, and apologies if others have said the same thing. I searched the forum but did not find it.

Some days I delete more than I write - often because I’m duplicating a text and cutting vast swaths to start over. Typically, when I do this, I reset the writing count. That way I’m not shown as writing -2,135 words that day (for example), and can track the number of words I did write. However I’ve been watching my Writing History and noticed it doesn’t change. Which kind of ruins the whole point of the Writing History feature for me. I’m back to tracking writing count in a separate document…

The session counter attempts to track your writing and editing activity within a session. Resetting it is a way of saying you want to start tracking a new session. That as an action does not say anything about your overall count, and is a separate concept from the notion of tracking the net gain or loss of words in a project/draft over a long period of time, which is what the Writing History feature attempts to capture. It would be a rather useless tool if every time there was a new session it erased whatever came before it—in fact it would never deviate from zero.

Think of it this way, I might consider my day broken up into three different writing sessions: a quick burst in the morning, a midday session and then later at night. If within these individual sessions, where for each I reset the counter, I write 120, -80 and 230—then the overall result of my efforts that day is 270 words. That is what the writing history will record for all time. I don’t understand what it would mean to have the previous session ignored the two times I clicked “reset” during the day. Would only the 230 at the end of the day be tracked then?

That entirely aside, going by your description: if you slightly alter how you work you might find the session counter a bit less inaccurate—try copying and pasting into a new document, and then cutting from that, instead of duplicating the item and then cutting from the duplicate. Binder level actions like duplication don’t count as writing for obvious reasons, but pasting does.

And depending on why you duplicate in the first place, you might also look into using Snapshots instead. If the idea is to create a new revision and work from that, with a snapshot you preserve the current state of the text and can then safely work from that without harm to the original—all edits are then incremental from the original source. If you need to roll back, you will note that the net difference caused by swapping out the current text for a snapshot is considered a writing level event. Hence you can take a 500 word piece, snapshot it, pare it down to 250, then decide it’s rot and roll it back. Your net session count will be 0, and so will your writing history, as it should be.

Thanks Amber,

I think the fundamental challenge I’m having is one that other’s have expressed before: … =4&t=37872

Namely that I want a “true count”: to count words I write, exclude them if I then delete those words that day, but not decrease my count if I go back to something and delete half of it, nor increase my count if I copy and paste an existing text. This isn’t an easy feature to build, it would be different for every writer, and I understand why it’s not in Scrivener.

That said, I’ve been using the “Reset” session target and various copy/pasting or duplicating texts to “hack” the count into something roughly accurate to my “true count” each day. (Sidenote: yup, I use duplicate or copy in paste independently based on whether I want to count or not count something. Also I use snapshots.) For instance, suppose I’ve written 500 words, then want to copy in 300 words from something already written. In that case, I’ll cut my first 500 out of scrivener, paste in the 300, reset my count to 0, then paste the 500 back in, to get “credit” for those 500, but not those 300 in my word count.

I think, maybe I’ve mis-titled this post. Because you’re right that some use use “reset” to specify different sessions in a given day. And wouldn’t want Writing History to change. When what I’d ideally like is a similar button to “reset” in writing history as well - so that I can hack the word count there to track appropriately too. But that’s what I meant by optional - it’d be something a writer would have to choose to do. So, in your 270 word example, that would count correctly, unless a writer optionally chose to “reset” it.

For now though, I’ll just keep on recording my own “true count” in excel.