Writing Journal 5.18.2022: Looking forward to the summer break

[PHOTO NOTE: I was thinking of the Mississippi River when I was thinking about going on summer break next week. Getting out on the river was always a highlight for me finding some sandbar in the middle of the stream and hanging out there for the afternoon. And now, I’m a 2 1/2 hour-drive from the Mississippi. (Sigh.) I’ve heard some good stuff about Red Rock State Park on the Des Moines River maybe 45 minutes away from where I’m at. I might have to take a look and see what it’s like.]

I’m at risk of having the photo notes for one of these things run longer than the actual meat of the blog itself, heh heh. Then again, I might write a blog post soon where there might be more footnotes than actual text. (Don’t threaten yourself with a good time, Liegois.)

You might not be able to tell, but it’s the last week of school for me for the 2021-2022 year. I’ve observed that teaching an entire school year is the mental equivalent of running a marathon. Some years it is better than others. At the end of my last school year, I wasn’t sure that I was going back into teaching. Now, I feel like the school year breezed by in many ways and I’ll be back at my current district next year. Environment and school culture can be everything, just as with any other working environment.

Anyway, I had to tag and categorize this post as personal. Enough about me, let’s get to the writing.

I do not want to waste this down time like I frankly did last year. However, there were a lot of reasons behind that, I think. I was unsure of what I would be doing professionally, I had several aimless goals, my head was total mush, and I barely got anything done.

However, I’m much more confident that I will have a better summer this year. I know what I want to get done, I have a goal for my writing pace, and I’m feeling much more focused.

Last week’s totals would have been fantastic over the course of last summer, but for me they are not horrific but not nearly good enough. I like the fact that I look at a week that’s a slightly down one and my attitude is to make sure next week is even better. I also appreciate that I have been more consistent with my writing than I’ve been for a long time, and that I’m beginning to merge productivity with consistency.

Anyway, at this point I think I’m rambling. So, I will simply post last week’s totals and tell you that more will be coming. Take care.

Writing statistics for the week ending 5.14.2022:
+3,829 words written.
Days writing: 5 of 7.
Days revising/planning: 1 of 7 for 90 total minutes.
Daily Writing Goals Met (500+ words or 30 minutes of planning/revisions): 4 of 7 days.

Writing Journal 5.11.2022: Demanding more of myself

PHOTO NOTE: The featured photo was one of the things that popped up when I searched “Writing Motivation.” Go figure.

It’s… good news that I’m being more demanding of myself? I think so.

In many ways, I’m not doing too much. Work on trying to get my latest OC novel published is… paused at the moment. I honestly don’t have the mental bandwidth to deal with it as I get closer to the end of the school year. The more I am thinking about it, the more I have the feeling that I need to set up a checklist of items I need to do to get it published%. At the end of next week, I think I might want to have this ready and ask the advice of some of my Des Moines writing people to get their advice, even if I can’t make it up for the meeting next week. (I am very happy Zoom exists.)

I do think I need to know what I need to get done. For the first time this year, I set a goal of 200,000 words to write this year, whether fiction, nonfiction, blogs, or otherwise. I wanted to meet my daily quotas at least 70 percent of the time. For the first time this year, I said “this is what I want to get done,” and not just say “let’s see what happens.”

And, it has been paying off. As of the end of April I was about 12,000 words ahead of pace for the year. I estimate that it usually takes me writing 4,167 words per week on a four-week month to keep up with that 200,000-word goal. I’ve matched or exceeded that count 12 out of the previous 18 weeks.

Are my numbers for this week awe-inspiring? Maybe by this year’s pace, they’re not fantastic. But I know I’ve had a much better start on 2022 than I ever did in 2021. If what I write gets actually better in the meantime, I’ll consider that a bonus… or, a goal for next time.

Anyway, here’s the stats for last week. Enjoy, and take care of yourselves, everyone. We live in weird times.

Writing statistics for the week ending 5.7.2022:
+4,752 words written.
Days writing: 5 of 7.
Days revising/planning: 1 of 7 for 30 total minutes.
Daily Writing Goals Met (500+ words or 30 minutes of planning/revisions): 5 of 7 days.

% – For a variety of reasons, I’ve decided to go the self-publishing route. One of the main reasons is that I would like to see a version of my book out for people sooner than the 3-4 years it would take to try and query agents and/or traditional publishers. I don’t want to wait that long.

Writing Journal 5.4.2022: A good month of April

So, I’ve been running the numbers and… the numbers are looking pretty good.

Again, and this seems like a broken record, but my goal for this year was to write 200,000 words for 2022, whether that is fiction, non-fiction, blogs, or otherwise. All of it counts.

I’m also trying to make sure that I make my daily minimum writing quota (500 words per day or 30 minutes of revisions/planning per day) at least 70 percent of the time. How is it going? Pretty good.

The numbers for last week:

Writing statistics for the week ending 4.30.2022:
+4,755 words written.
Days writing: 5 of 7.
Days revising/planning: 2 of 7 for 90 total minutes.
Daily Writing Goals Met (500+ words or 30 min. of planning/revisions): 7 of 7 days.

Writing statistics for April 2022:
Words: 20,791
Revise/Plan: 225 minutes
Daily Writing Goals Met: 86%

To stay exactly on pace for writing 200,000 words this year, I had to have written about 66,667 words by the end of April. With 78,616 written as of the end of April, I’m nearly 12,000 words ahead of that pace, which is really comforting to see in black and white and in my calculator.

And, having met my minimum daily writing quotas an average of 82 percent of the time, I’m well on pace to meet that goal as well.

Now, if I can write some “serious” work rather than “fun” work, then I’d really be cooking. But honestly, I have three weeks until I finish the school year, so I think that some of that serious work might wait until then.

I do think I figured out why it’s nearly impossible for me to write anything really on Sundays during a school year. I think that will be the subject of an upcoming blog… maybe this week, even. Why not?

Take care, everyone.

Writing Journal 4.27.2022: Definitely blocked and stalling on “real” work, but not bad on “fun” work

I’m officially in… well, a writing block would not be an accurate description of what is going on. The blog post I wanted to write for a while and be a “respectable” blogger with “fascinating content” has been languishing, although I have written a few extra hundred words over the past two weeks on the subject.

I really don’t even care anymore if it’s any good or not. I feel like I’m mentally like some of those guys running the Ironman Triathlon back on the Big Island of Hawaii and I’m in hour 40 and still running to the finish line and just wanting to cross it without worrying that I’m definitely not looking good, my feet are killing me, and I’m a bit embarrassed about passing out every once in a while#.

To be honest, I think that it’s going to take me getting into summer break to clear my head, make plans and make any sort of progress toward what I want to get done now. Late May is looking better and better. Not that this year has been really stressful teaching, but… it is like a triathlon in the sense that when you are in it, it is difficult to concentrate on anything else.

However, with the “fun” writing and the other stuff I have written, I am keeping up the pace. I’ll literally only need maybe 2,000 words this week to make what I was hoping to write. 200,000 words this year and meeting my daily writing quota at least 70 percent of the time were my two yearly goals. I am feeling more confident of meeting the latter as we continue, and I am cautiously optimistic about the former. I’ll do a monthly total next time I post something for April.

Anyway, here’s the totals for last week. Take care, everyone.

Writing statistics for the week ending 4.23.2022:
+4,857 words written.
Days writing: 5 of 7.
Days revising/planning: 2 of 7 for 75 total minutes.
Daily Writing Goals Met (500+ words or 30 min. of planning/revisions): 6 of 7 days.

# – I was going to write something a bit disgusting there instead of what I did, and I probably would have maybe 20, even 15 years ago. Over time, I’ve learned less is more.

Writing Journal 4.13.2022: I’m officially in a blocked slump, but it hit me on the weekend so it won’t show up, and I have at least one legitimate excuse so lol

Hi everyone.

I’m officially in a writing slump, and it’s spanned a couple of months, so it’s a bit ridiculous at this point.

Actually, the past week wasn’t horrific – actually, it went fine – but the next week’s numbers might really suck.

Part of that is the slump I sort of talked about so I’m not rehashing it again until I have a better handle of what’s going on. The other (thankfully more legitimate) excuse I have is this:

Bad pic by me.

This Sunday in the early morning I took a tumble down the winding staircase in my house. Result: One left pinky toe dislocated and lacerated on the way down. Thanks to the local docs, it is now relocated and sewn up and so I am on the mend. Of course that took a lot of time to sort out, but accidents happen ha ha.

Today I know I’m not going to come close to making my writing goal but I am glad I was writing because I wasn’t writing for the previous 48 hours. That at least is a win I can build on.

I’m looking forward to the summer break and I’m vowing to myself not to waste this one like I did last year. I might be able to manage it because I actually have a yearly goal this time and not just puttering around with daily goals.

Like I said, last week wasn’t bad, this week won’t be good, but I’m looking to try something as far as concentration that might be able to work. Let’s see if it does.

Here’s last week’s numbers. Writers keep writing and everyone keep safe, especially when it looked like everyplace in Iowa was under threat of tornadoes yesterday. Cheers.

Writing statistics for the the week ending 4.9.2022:
+6,950 words written.
Days writing: 6 of 7.
Days revising/planning: 1 of 7 for 60 total minutes.
Daily Writing Goals Met (500+ words or 30 minutes of planning/revisions): 6 of 7 days.

Writing Journal 4.6.2022: Yeah, right now I’m sort of fooling around with writing, but I’m doing a lot of it and that’s at least good

[PHOTO NOTE: This is what I got when I typed in “tooling around” in the free images search. For what it’s worth.]

I’m not going to get into too much today. At times I feel like Salinger, tooling around on writing projects not intended for commercial intents. But, I am writing.

Usually, I save my stats toward the end, but I think it would be appropriate to show them now. Last week’s stats:

Writing statistics for the week ending 4.2.2022:
+3,984 words written.
Days writing: 5 of 7.
Days revising/planning: 1 of 7 for 30 total minutes.
Daily Writing Goals Met (500+ words or 30 minutes of planning/revisions): 5 of 7 days.

Those are okay numbers for a week – better than my word count quota – but right now I’m trying to shoot for a better performance per-week. I’m hoping for about 4,200 words per week to keep up my writing pace.

  • As I mentioned earlier this year, I am shooting for writing 200,000 words this year and meeting my writing quota 70 percent of the time. How is that going?

Better than it was the previous two months when I was just behind my pace. But I caught up this month – and I didn’t even need the extra week to reach it.

Writing statistics for March 2022:
Words: 27, 101
Revising/Planning: 375 minutes.
Daily Writing Goals Met: 86%

At this point of the year, I should have written 50,000 words to keep on pace for the 200,000-word goal. As of right now I am 7,825 words ahead of pace. And I currently have made my daily writing goals 80 percent of the time during the three-month period, better than my 70 percent goal.

All in all, I’m happy – not satisfied. I’m still producing a lot of “fun” writing but not getting forward with the “serious” writing. I’m starting to wonder why that is. Again, I’ll have to work that out later. As much of an improvement as this teaching year has been over the

For right now, I’m going to try and set aside certain times to write on the blog – not with the intention of producing something immediately, but at least working toward some progress.

I’ll let you know how it goes. Keep safe, everyone.

Writing Journal 3.30.2022: Spinning the wheels… but still writing

I’m not going to prattle on this week.

I’ve been typing up the fan fiction, stuff I have been reluctant to fully publicize… but that’s OK. I think.

One of the advantages of writing it is that I don’t feel as much pressure to write that material as the “serious writing” that I feel like I have to get going on. I’m still trying to work that out, so I’m not going to do it

What I will say is that although I’m not going to take a look at the overall numbers until next week, I do feel confident that I am actually going to be well ahead of pace toward my target of 200,000 words this year and reaching my daily quotas at least 70 percent of the time.

I’ll recap the monthly totals next time I post a writing journal, but I have the feeling I would be over pace even without the fact that there are five weeks in March rather than the usual four. However, I estimated last month that I’d need to exceed 16,928 words every month from March to December to make that goal. I managed to pass that two weeks ago.

How about that… and it happens to be my birthday today. Not that I’m making a big deal about it. Even though I think progress in what I’m trying to accomplish is slow, I feel like progress is being made. By the time I’m ready to pass on, I just might actually know something about writing.

Anyway, here are the figures. I’m looking to have a good last week of the month. Take care, everyone.

Writing statistics for the week ending 3.26.2022:
+6,618 words written.
Days writing: 6 of 7.
Days revising/planning: 2 of 7 for 150 total minutes.
Daily Writing Goals Met (500+ words or 30 minutes of planning/revisions): 6 of 7 days.

Writing Journal: 3.23.2022: I’m writing, but not what I’m “supposed” to write – or, the difference between total writer’s block and “situational” writer’s block/procrastination

Well, this is a bit frustrating now.

I’m doing… all right with the writing, I guess? I’m well into March, which is one of those “extra week” months where I can get five weeks of writing sorted out rather than just four weeks. Last week’s totals (I’ll spell that out in a moment) were the best I’ve had all year, bar none, and by the time that this post goes online, I might already have achieved my writing goal for this month, to keep on pace with this not-so-crazy 200,000 words in a single year goal for 2022.

But, I’m getting the feeling that I’m beginning to separate my writing into the “serious commercial or semi-commercial writing” and the “totally frivolous and fun writing.” Two different areas, and categories that represent two different emotions for me. I have been associating the first category with success, accomplishment, “being a serious writer,” and procrastination on a very measurable level. The second category is filled with slight embarrassment because most of the writing is “frivolous,” “not serious,” “fan fiction,” “not intended for commercial success or even intended to appeal to a wider audience” and it’s supposedly not something I should invest a lot of time and creativity.

But I’ve had more fun doing that latter sort of writing than any other type of writing during the past few weeks. So, since I’ve been thinking on this subject for more than a little bit, maybe it’s time to take a step backward and see if my behavior makes any sense. Many people have complimented me, both in past times and present times, that I have a good self-analysis of my behavior, my reasoning, and my emotional reactions. Maybe it’s time to apply that to my current writing status.

(I usually post writing journals that either just say “here’s my totals for the week” and hello, or go into a deep dive about what I am thinking, writing-wise, about what is going on. I get the feeling, as I am putting this together, that this entry is one of the latter kind.

So, buckle in.

Some dude found it on Facebook, then posted it on Reddit. I saw it there and thought it was a good visual representation of the weirdness that I was considering regarding the writing output I had recently. Now, it’s on WordPress. You’re welcome.

So, we have the “serious writing” and the “fun writing” categories that I came up with for myself because I need to write about something and I might as well get it out here. My other experience is that once I talk something out with myself, once I analyze it and try and explain it to myself, I usually am able to work my way for it. I often times have eventually found myself repeating behavioral patterns, but it almost always keeps me from repeating not so good behaviors in the short term because once I figure out what is actually going on inside my head, I am able to correct things. So, I think it is good to talk about that here, especially since it concerns itself with my writing and what I am doing with it.

Essentially, what is happening is that I’m doing well at the latter writing but not the former. So, I’m going to make a brief effort to see why that is the case, and also if this classification into good and bad writing actually makes sense or is just some arbitrary malarkey that I decided on.

I’m going to try to, anyway. Or, at least summarize it.

As of right now, I’m seeing the “serious” work as something that I have to do but have to really motivate myself to do. There’s plenty of stakes in it, such as getting better known and possibly making this pay off. While my “fun” writing has no chance of doing any of that, but I enjoy myself when I do it and find the process a breeze to put out new material – new material, that is, that is not even intended to be commercial or be exploited commercially.

This is an interesting conversation… but I think I need to think on it a bit further before I tease out the implications and see the reasoning, whether accurate or false, behind this thinking. For now, just know I had a very productive week and looking forward to many more. After some of the weeks I’ve had last year and early this week, that is a nice change.

All you writers keep writing, and everyone keep safe.

Writing statistics for the week ending 3.19.2022:
+6,787 words written.
Days writing: 6 of 7.
Days revising/planning: 2 of 7 for 120 total minutes.
Daily Writing Goals Met (500+ words or 30 minutes of planning/revisions): 7 of 7 days.

Writing Journal 3.16.2022: Producing

Time to keep things short.

I’m celebrating this week for being productive, but I’m not going to make a big deal about it. So many times I have celebrated a good week only to get down when I fall behind on my goals.

However, now that I know what I am shooting for, which means 200,000 words in a year and meeting my daily quotas 70 percent of the time, I’m feeling more confident that this month will be great and that I will be able to keep up my pace.

And I actually made some progress on what has become a white elephant of a blog post… but I did write some more on it on Sunday and I plan to continue with it throughout the week. Call me the George R.R. Martin of bloggers. (Yes, I know he blogs too. Probably more than me. At least I’m not going to make you wait 11-plus years for what I’m writing, heh heh.)

So, with that being said, I’m not promising anything that I’m not sure that I can deliver. However, I can deliver the stats for last week, so I’ll do that below and wrap this up. Writers keep writing and everyone keep safe.

Writing statistics for the week ending 3.12.2022:
+5,062 words written.
Days writing: 6 of 7.
Days revising/planning: 2 of 7 for 75 total minutes.
Daily Writing Goals Met (500+ words or 30 minutes of planning/revisions): 7  of 7 days.

Writing Journal 3.9.2022: Shaking it off

This is going to be quick because there’s not much to say.

I was thinking that I had a lot streak just because I was writing a few things, but I had one slow day and one day I totally took off. And thus, I’m right back at the level I didn’t want to be. It’s not horrific, and compared to my average last year it’s not bad.

But, I can do better. And, I will.

As I write this, I am on a six-day winning streak that I plan to extend into… at least 11 days? That would be a trip. Then again, you’ll believe me when you see me, right?

Anyway, here’s the stats. See you down the line.

Writing statistics for the week ending 3.5.2022:
+3,809 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): 5 of 7 days.