A Year In Review: Crunching the writing journal numbers for 2018

Well, as I promised, I wanted to give you a recap of what my writing output was for 2018. I’ve been delighted with how I have been keeping track of my work. Even though I’ve been using a writing journal for some time, I think this year I have finally refined what I wanted to do with the list and how I quantified that work.

I am going to list all of my writing output below, then give some of my thoughts on it. I should explain things to you before I move forward.

  • I’m going to give you monthly totals, totals for the first and second halves of the year, and a grand total for 2018.
  • The numbers for revisions represent the total number of minutes I spent revising my work.
  • Daily Writing Goals Met (DWGM) – this represents whether I have met the goals I have set for myself writing on a daily basis. These goals are either at least 500 words per day or at least 30 minutes of revising existing work. On my weekly updates, I usually tell you how many times I meet that goal per week; on this chart, however, I will list it as the percentage of times per month I reach that goal.
  • In the first and second half totals and the yearly totals, I will also give monthly averages for words written and minutes spent revising.

OK. With all that out of the way, let’s present the numbers.

  • Jan:
    • Words: 6,658
    • Revisions: 60
    • DWGM: 26%
  • Feb:
    • Words: 3,509
    • Revisions: 600
    • DWGM: 25%
  • Mar:
    • Words: 4,328
    • Revisions: 1,115
    • DWGM: 54%
  • Apr:
    • Words: 3,386
    • Revisions: 1,200
    • DWGM: 50%
  • May:
    • Words: 6,164
    • Revisions: 660
    • DWGM: 51%
  • Jun:
    • Words: 7,638
    • Revisions: 330
    • DWGM: 54%
  • 1st half of the year:
    • Words (total): 31,683
    • Words (avg.): 5,281
    • Revisions (total): 3,965
    • Revisions (avg.): 661
    • DWGM (avg.): 43%
  • Jul:
    • Words: 4,094
    • Revisions: 960
    • DWGM: 68%
  • Aug:
    • Words: 1,742
    • Revisions: 960
    • DWGM: 51%
  • Sep:
    • Words: 7,937
    • Revisions: 695
    • DWGM: 61%
  • Oct:
    • Words: 4,035
    • Revisions: 1,265
    • DWGM: 74%
  • Nov:
    • Words: 3,081
    • Revisions: 600
    • DWGM: 57%
  • Dec:
    • Words: 1,306
    • Revisions: 510
    • DWGM: 54%
  • 2nd half of the year:
    • Words (total): 22,195
    • Words (avg.): 3,699
    • Revisions (total): 4,990
    • Revisions (avg.): 832
    • DWGM (avg.): 61%
  • Total for 2018:
    • Words (total): 53,878
    • Words (avg.): 4,490
    • Revisions (total): 8,955
    • Revisions (avg.): 746
    • DWGM (avg.): 52%

The reason I’m happy with this year’s list and was willing to share it in this much detail is because I think I can actually draw some conclusions from the numbers. For right now, this is what I’m noticing.

  • I saw a considerable amount more words written in the first half of the year than in the second half, by around 10,000 words. This was not a surprise to me, since I was finishing the first draft of my current work in progress at that time. In a related figure, the amount of time I spent revising jumped up by around 1,000 minutes, which makes sense because I have been heavily involved with revising that project as well as the project that will soon be published.
  • I got considerably better meeting my daily writing goals as the year moved on. During the first couple of months, I was only reaching it about 25 percent of the time. However, that jumped up to over 50 percent for the remainder of the year. I wound up meeting my goals 52 percent of the time for the year and 61 percent of the time for the second half of the year.
  • Probably my best streak of writing during the year was between June and October, and I would rank July, September, and October as my best writing months.
  • November and December, as I previously worried about, I’d consider to be something of slump months. Even though I met my daily goals at a better percentage rate than the yearly average, they didn’t crack the average for the second half of the year, and the word and revision numbers were both below yearly and second half numbers.

Now that I have all of this in front of me, I’m satisfied that I finally have a baseline idea of my writing productivity to date. Now, I can look forward to 2019 and see if I can make productivity improvements in all areas. It doesn’t make sense to work toward something if you don’t know what the mark is, but I now see what it is. I just have to dedicate myself to getting better in the year to come.

7 thoughts on “A Year In Review: Crunching the writing journal numbers for 2018

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