Writing Journal 12.8.2021: A pretty successful week, but I’m hoping to wrap some projects up

[PHOTO NOTE: A shot of my old home office in Muscatine. Gone from there but not forgotten, of course.]

I got a bit of writing done this week.

Actually, that’s a bit of an understatement.

If I was a cocky person, I’d be doing the literary version of grinning from ear to ear, because I’ve had, statistically, my best week of writing since (checking my journal) two different weeks in July. Not bad at all.

Of course, I could just get a brain hiccup or decide to procrastinate and everything drops back down to nearly nothing, as has happened this year. But, hope springs eternal as well.

I’m planning on trying to write a bit more during this month in particular to prevent a slump from my previous year’s output. Whether I have enough time to do that in just less than 30 days is another issue totally. But, if I don’t succeed, at least I might start up momentum for a record-breaking 2022.

Anyways, here’s my stats from last week. Hope everyone who writes has a good writing week, too. As for them and for everyone else, stay safe.

Writing statistics for the week ending 12.4.2021:
+5,576 words written.
Days writing: 5 of 7.
Days revising/planning: 0 of 7 for 0 total minutes.
Daily Writing Goals Met (500+ words or 30 minutes of planning/revisions): 5 of 7 days.

Writing Journal 12.1.2021: Good end to November

[PHOTO NOTE – Just a shot of one of my old desks. Feeling nostalgic, just a bit.

This week I’m feeling good. Not too much to it but I restarted a small story I had ideas for a long time and I didn’t slow down. That’s always good news.

There’s times to analyze how productive I’ve been, and there are times when I just need to enjoy what I accomplished. Now is one of those latter times.

Now I have to think about a bloody blog about The Wheel of Time since I promised you guys something a couple days back. That might take a few days, but I’ll start getting on that, too. Both the book and the series are becoming a greater interest of mine.

Anyway, here are the stats, and they are a sight better than last week’s. I’d love to say that I’ll keep up the pace, but many of you writers out there know how tough that can be.

All you writers keep writing, and every one of you keep safe. It can get weird out there.

Writing statistics for the week ending 11.27.2021:
+5,368 words written.
Days writing: 6 of 7.
Days revising/planning: 2 of 7 for 45 total minutes.
Daily Writing Goals Met (500+ words or 30 minutes of planning/revisions): 5 of 7 days.

Writing Journal 11.24.2021: Always wanting to do better

I’m always wanting to improve on my numbers, so it’s not a surprise that I’m not really happy with the possibility that I am not going to have as productive of a 2021 as I did previously. And, with the fact that we only have about six and a half weeks left to really kick it into 12th gear, that seems more likely.

However, this is a long-haul situation. I’m always looking for little victories as they come along. I try and fight entropy and procrastination all along the way. This week might have been another little victory.

Was it a perfect week, where I meet my writing quota every day and then some? No, it’s not that. But it is better than what I had the previous week, if you compare the numbers. So, there is that.

Anyway, last week’s numbers are below. Maybe with the Thanksgiving break, I can get a good amount of writing in before I’m done… and a little bit of research into my self-publishing items. (Fun fact – I hit up ex-New York Times columnist and current Oregon governor candidate Nicholas Kristof on Facebook about the Substack platform and what sort of success he’s been having with it. Fun times.)

Writing statistics for the week ending 11.20.2021:
+3,582 words written.
Days writing: 4 of 7.
Days revising/planning: 1 of 7 for 15 total minutes.
Daily Writing Goals Met (500+ words or 30 minutes of planning/revisions): 4 of 7 days.

Writing Journal 11.16.2021: Inconsistent (or not? No, inconsistent).

[PHOTO NOTE: Pexels photos wouldn’t bring up any images for “Inconsistent,” so today’s featured photo was the first image that popped up for “erratic.” You’re welcome.]

At first thought, when I was checking the statistics for last week, I was thinking that I hadn’t written much of anything. There were very few times that I felt that I had met my writing goals.

I think I finally had a breakthrough, once again, when I decided to not write a scene that I just didn’t feel good about or it would be more of the same, and I was able to get on with the section of writing that I finally wanted to accomplish. I’ve given the advice before on this blog, and it seems so super simple, not writing stuff. But it makes sense to me, and it seems to have worked for me.

I’ll be honest, there are some times when I am watching a movie where there’s something going on that’s so uncomfortable, I don’t even want to be watching it. There’s times when I am trying to gear myself up to write a scene that I think is important, but I suddenly realize I have no interest in writing it or trying to picture it. That’s when I realize that if it’s not a scene I’m into, it’s likely not a scene that anyone will be into. So, instead of getting stuck on a scene I thought I had to have at first, I just move on to the next thing. It’s a really good way to prevent me from getting too wordy in a manuscript, that’s for sure.

Otherwise, I’m pretty much plugging along as normal. I’m becoming increasingly convinced that the path I’m on is going to be the right one (self-publishing). I’ll likely be making a post on that soon.

As for last week’s statistics… they actually were about a couple hundred more than last week, but I only counted like three days that I met my daily quota. Like the title says, I’m hoping for more consistency.

Anyway, here’s the stats. Take care of yourselves out there.

Writing statistics for the week ending 11.14.2021:
+2,504 words written.
Days writing: 6 of 7.
Days revising/planning: 0 of 7 for 0 total minutes.
Daily Writing Goals Met (500+ words or 30 minutes of planning/revisions): 3 of 7 days.

Writing Journal 11.10.2021: Just ugh…

[PHOTO NOTE: I was trying to find a free Pexels photo that described how I thought about my production last week, and this was what I got when I typed “Head Desk” in the search.]

“Ugh” is one of my wife’s favorite phrases, especially when her day is not going especially well. I’ve always admired the word for its mix of expressiveness and simplicity. After the week of writing I had, I’m thinking that ugh is pretty much all I can do as I stare at the numbers. This is not the way to successfully breaking a losing streak. It’s not the way to try and turn things around.

So, I’m going to accept that last week just wasn’t a good week and knock the next one out of the park. That’s all I’ll say right now.

Here’s the stats. I hope next week is better.

Writing statistics for the week ending 11.6.2021:
+2,217 words written.
Days writing: 4 of 7.
Days revising/planning: 0 of 7 for 0 total minutes.
Daily Writing Goals Met (500+ words or 30 minutes of planning/revisions): 2 of 7 days.

Writing Journal 11.3.2021: Sliding out of October

Not too much to talk about, so I’ll keep it quick. Well, this turned out to be not exactly what I expected. Let’s carry on, however.

As I sit here at the beginning of November, I’m wondering if I have enough time to pull together a decent writing year with two months of 2021 left to go. I think there is a chance that I might be able to finish strong this year, but whether I finish comparable to 2019 or 2020 is up in the air. Like I analyzed back in January, I wrote more words in 2020 than 2019 and a lot more than 2018, but the percentage of times that I met my writing goals during the year fell from 78 percent in 2019 to 62 percent in 2018.

In the end… it’s a little difficult to exactly pinpoint the reason for the drop-off last year and this year as opposed to 2019. I’ve tried to think about it more than a few times.

There was the move to south central Iowa that disrupted my routines and stalled out any momentum that I’ve tried to build with The Holy Fool coming out in 2019. My connections to my little writing community I had been starting to develop in eastern Iowa and Muscatine over the course of many years got severed, and the COVID-19 outbreak also put a lot of potential public events out of reach for at least a year. It has only been recently that I have been trying to rebuild my writing community out in the Des Moines area because that is the biggest community within driving distance for me to find fellow authors. I think this is leading me to more gradual (and I hope permanent) changes that I am starting to make aimed at growing myself as a writer and as a brand. It would be nice for there to be a good writing community where I am currently living (Lucas County, Iowa), but due to the population out here, I don’t think I can count on that. In addition, I think I am at a different place than I was when I first became involved in writing communities. Before, I was concerned about finding people I could bounce ideas off of, get writing advice, and show me how I could become a better writer. I still want that, but I also really want to try and push myself forward, becoming someone who could turn my writing into something that could at least become a nice little side gig, if not a full-time calling at the moment. The people I have met in Des Moines have been published multiple times. I don’t think I’m going to have that level of experience in little Chariton of Lucas County, as compared to Des Moines.

Once I moved out here last year to Chariton, my mental state was honestly not the best, not necessarily because of the move but because of the working environment I found myself in. By the end of my time at this particular school district, I was even questioning my dedication to continuing teaching, as so many of my colleagues both at that district and other places have done. However, my wife (Laura) encouraged me to keep my mind open to other teaching opportunities. As of this writing, I’m in the second quarter of the school year with my new school district. While it is by no means a perfect job, I find myself being in a far more positive mind set than I was at all during the last school year. Whether it is the smaller school district environment, positive and supporting administration and staff, or a combination of them and other factors, I am usually quite happy with my job. I never understood writers who said they couldn’t write in a depressive or down condition. I usually find writing when I am emotionally not in the best space to be a very taxing situation, much like weeding a lawn.

This fan fiction work that I’ve been doing during the past two years has been rewarding emotionally, and I think I’ve learned about my writing during that process. However, I think that the momentum of that work is starting to wind down. What was doing to be just two stories has now branched into an entire series that will run well over the 500,000 word mark when it is done, I believe. That has been great, but I think I also want to develop and support my OC writing material, with the fan fiction work continuing to be an occasional side hobby. However, for the sake of being complete and not able to let go of an idea, that work will continue while I try to get on with things.

Anyway, here’s the stats. Hope we have a good writing week to come.

Writing Statistics for the week ending 10.30.2021:
+2,536 words written.
Days writing: 5 of 7.
Days revising/planning: 0 of 7 for 0 total minutes.
Daily Writing Goals Met (500+ words or 30 minutes of planning/revisions): 3 of 7 days.

Writing Journal 10.27.2021: A slight slowdown as we get near the end of October

Last week’s production was not the best, but it was far better than many bad days I had over the previous few months. Now that my revision work is slowing down, I’ll need to actually get back to getting down some original stuff. That’s when I’m not trying to finish up my grading for school as well…

Plus, I’m trying to get more done with the site and putting together a mini-media empire here. It can be a bit of a slog, especially when you wind up doing more to help support your writing than the actual writing itself.

Anyway, here’s the stats. Enjoy.

Writing statistics for the week ending 10.23.2021:
+1,566 words written.
Days writing: 3 of 7.
Days revising/planning: 4 of 7 for 120 total minutes.
Daily Writing Goals Met (500+ words or 30 minutes of planning/revisions): 5 of 7 days.


Writing Journal 10.20.2021: Good week overall

Not going to muck around too much on this. I seem to be having good results getting these writing journals out on Wednesdays after writing them a bit ahead of time. I’m also glad that, even though these journal posts are a big part of this blog, they haven’t been the only thing I have been posting in recent months, unlike some times in this blog’s short history.

I have to admit that this week’s totals might be slightly juiced by the fact that I participated in the Iowa Writers’ Corner’s fall writing retreat on Saturday. It was the first time I ever got to be a part of such an event and I loved every second of it. I am very much looking forward to when we do it again sometime next spring.

I managed to get quite of bit of revisions on a long-stalled project, so that juiced the numbers. I wound up revising and planning for 210 minutes last week. Remember, since my daily writing goal is either 500 words or 30 minutes of revisions/planning, that 210 minutes is the equivalent of 3,500 words a week. If I either write for 500 words every day or revise/plan for 30 minutes every day, that comes out to 3,500 words or 210 minutes. So, I had a good week – not a perfect week where I met my quota every day, but close enough to it after a couple months of lackluster numbers that I am quite happy with what I see.

Some other good news is that I managed to sort out my PayPal account, so that might be another tool I might get into down the line. I’m also looking more research into ConvertKit and I’m really leaning toward using that to set up an email list. Of course, if I’m to set up such an email list, I’m going to have to give people some reasons to sign up for that list… and that will be a new experience.

In addition, the more I look into this, the more I’m leaning toward trying to do more on my own rather than find an agent or publisher. I’m tired of just waiting and hoping someone will take a chance on me – I just want to start creating and see if some readers will take a chance on me for once. If there has been one thing that writing fan fiction has taught me, is that the feedback I’ve received lets me know that there are people who do like my writing. I want to not just create those stories, but go out and take them for a ride.

Anyway, here’s the numbers. Keep safe, everyone.

Writing statistics for the week ending 10.16.2021:
+2,619 words written.
Days writing: 3 of 7.
Days revising/planning: 6 of 7 for 210 total minutes.
Daily Writing Goals Met (500+ words or 30 minutes of planning/revisions): 6 of 7 days.

Writing Journal, 10.13.2021: Finally got a good thing going

Well, in addition to the recent news about the new URL for the blog, I wound up having a pretty good writing week, too.

Actually, I think it was one of the best weeks of writing I’ve had since July, now that I had a chance to look it up. I always appreciate it when I surpass my goal for the week (at least 3,500 words per week, 500 per day, or 210 minutes of revising or planning work).

Without getting into too many details, I think a good part of my success this week didn’t have to do with what I was working on. I think what happened was that I managed my time well over the weekend and didn’t try to tire myself out – in fact, I think I did a lot better to take care of myself during the weekend. Over the past few months, I have been seeing a drop-off in productivity. Not this past weekend, however.

So, can I start to make this a trend? Let’s hope so.

Anyway, once again, here’s the stats. Enjoy, and have a safe week.

Writing statistics for the week ending 10.9.2021:
+4,663 words written.
Days writing: 6 of 7.
Days revising/planning: 0 of 7 for 0 total minutes.
Daily Writing Goals Met (500+ words or 30 minutes of planning/revisions): 6 of 7 days.

Writing Journal 10.6.2021: A little better at the end of September

My output… wasn’t that bad last week? Still not up to what I want for my quota, but it was the best week I had in about four weeks.

This fanfiction project that has been going on for a while… I think I’m getting tired of it being in my head, like I mentioned last time. Now I am writing for the sole purpose of getting the story done… not as noble as some writing motivation, but it might be good enough for me to get through most of it. I think some of my problem is what I usually have with writing scenes or sections that really get boring for me or I don’t want to muck around with that much. Usually, the solution is to just cut the scenes as much as possible and just move on. That’s what I think I’m going to have to do in this instance.

Not much else to talk about here, although I’m hoping to finally try and put together three posts in a single week. I did like Sunday’s post, however – I think that worked out pretty well.

Here’s the stats. See you later and take care.

Writing statistics for the week ending 10.2.2021:
+2,513 words written.
Days writing: 4 of 7.
Days revising/planning: 0 of 7 for 0total minutes.
Daily Writing Goals Met (500+ words or 30 minutes of planning/revisions): 3 of 7 days.