When you’re writing a book, as I am now, you tend (often unconsciously) to measure your progress in terms of your word count. It feels good to see that you’re 5000 words ahead of where you were last week. But you also want to make the book better, and while I think I’ve done that this week, I’ve done it chiefly by cutting out unnecessary passages and tightening up my phrasing. Which means that I certainly have fewer words than I had a week ago. I am making a point of not looking to see how many fewer.