Writing Journal 8.11.2021: Slower but still steady as I get ready for school

Not much to discuss, so I will keep it short.

I never thought I would say this, but for once this week I’m beginning to wonder if I don’t need to have something else going on in my life to get me motivated.

In this case, it is the fact that I was returning to teaching in a couple weeks. Last year was not the best for me, but I am hoping that the new district will be a good professional home. That’s likely all that I will say about that here, but I am interested in getting back to work.

My production last week was down from the really good one I had, but I would say it was still a slightly above average week. Remember, I try to average at least 500 words per day and/or 30 minutes per day revising/planning work.

I’m trying to dedicate more to this blog as well, and was glad I had a good weekend post, although I am hoping to post on either Friday or Saturday. I’m trying to see what are the best times to get some engagement on here. It’s not something that is going to break my heart if it doesn’t happen right away… but I want to keep thinking about it.

Anyway, the stats are below. I’ve got one or two ideas for the weekend, so I’ll start working on those next. Take care everyone.

Writing Statistics for the week ending 8.7.2021:
+3,986 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): 4 of 7 days.

Writing Journal 8.4.2021: Great finish to July

I’m not going to keep you long, because I have been putting out some new post recently. However, I will have some new items to post on Friday and/or Saturday.

Well, this week was a massive improvement over the previous week. Part of it was me picking up my blogging while getting back to work on that one fan fiction project that seems to have taken over my writing life, lol. Hopefully I can continue down this path even after school restarts for me later next month.

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

Writing statistics for the week ending 7.31.2021:
+6,903 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.

Mid-year Review, 2021: Not as bad as I feared, but not progress

So, I’m a bit overdue for an update on how I’ve been doing production-wise for the first part of this year. I have typically finished up a first part of the year review by the beginning of June, but I had to settle for the end of July this time. Oh, well.

If you did not know, I have been keeping track of the productivity of my writing for the past several years – since about 2013. I settled on the format that I currently use for tracking my productivity by 2018. As a result, I now have 3 1/2 years of data to compare with and see how I have been improving (or not) over that time.

What I have to report, essentially, is that I unfortunately did not have as good of a first part of the year as I did last year, which is the best of the four years I have to judge. However, despite my decline, especially in June, it is still the second best first part of the year I have recorded since I began this.

Just to go over the rules I have set myself:

I meet my daily goal if I write at least 500 words per day or plan/revise my work for at least 30 minutes a day. That would be an average of 3,500 words per week (or the equivalent time in planning/revisions, or some combination of the two.
The numbers I will show will include the total words written, the total number of minutes I spent revising/planning, and the percentage of times that I met my daily writing goals (DWGM). I’ll also give the monthly averages for words and minutes, and the DWGM average for the first part of the year as well.

And now, here are the writing statistics for the first part of 2021:

  • Jan:
    • Words: 10,764
    • Revise/Plan: 750 min.
    • DWGM: 67 percent
  • Feb:
    • Words: 17,042
    • Revise/Plan: 450 min.
    • DWGM: 68 percent
  • Mar:
    • Words: 19,396
    • Revise/Plan: 0 min.
    • DWGM: 66 percent
  • Apr:
    • Words: 12,728
    • Revise/Plan: 30 min.
    • DWGM: 54 percent
  • May:
    • Words:  16,931
    • Revise/Plan: 0 min.
    • DWGM: 57 percent
  • Jun:
    • Words: 9,991 words
    • Revise/Plan: 60 min.
    • DWGM: 29 percent
  • 1st half of 2021:
    • Words (total): 86,852
    • Words (avg.) 14,475
    • Revise/Plan (total): 1290
    • Revise/Plan (avg.) 215
    • DWGM (avg.): 57 percent

As you can see, there was a bit of a fall-off in June, and there might be a similar fall-off this month, but we’ll have to see.

Now, I will show the comparisons with previous years:

  • 1st half of 2018:
    • Words (total): 31,683
    • Words (avg.): 5,281
    • Revisions (total): 3,965
    • Revisions (avg.): 661
    • DWGM (avg.): 43%
  • 1st half of 2019:
    • Words (total): 76,038
    • Words (avg.): 12,673
    • Revise/Plan (total): 3,495
    • Revise/Plan (avg.) 583
    • DWGM (avg.): 67%
  • 1st half of 2020:
    • Words (total): 114,459
    • Words (avg.)  19,077
    • Revise/Plan (total): 2,340
    • Revise/Plan (avg.) 390
    • DWGM (avg.): 66%
  • 1st half of 2021:
    • Words (total): 86,852
    • Words (avg.) 14,475
    • Revise/Plan (total): 1290
    • Revise/Plan (avg.) 215
    • DWGM (avg.): 57 percent

I’ve secretly suspected that my tendency is to slack off during times I am on vacation, which frustrates me because I think that I should use that time well if I have it free. Maybe I find it too intimidating? Maybe I just procrastinate. Well, I’m trying to fight that procrastination over the past few days and have been doing well to get some writing done on this blog.

And it turns out that I blew past my four-year anniversary. I’ll talk about that and some other stuff this weekend, too. Thanks for checking in with me, and all of you writers keep writing.

Writing Journal 7.28.2021: Statistics can lie their butts off if you let them

I’ll make this one brief, because there’s not too much to this post.

I will say this, however. Numbers can be spun many different ways. For example, I could say that I wrote three times as many words last week as I did the previous week. I can say that I wrote 50 percent more days than I did the previous week, and I can also say that I doubled the amount of days that I met my daily writing goals. And, I would be 100 percent accurate in all of those statements.

That doesn’t mean I had a good writing week. I managed to get 1,714 words written last week. Now, if I manage to meet my goal of writing 500 words every day, I should be up to at least 3,500 words per week, so you can see the math on that.

(Or, I could make up that if I am doing some planning or revising for my stories, I should be able to include that time in my calculations.
Remember, kids and non-kids, under my current calculations, 30 minutes of planning and/or revisions = 500 words written.)

So, last week wasn’t all bad news. I think I am getting used to my new writing rig, and it gave me an idea – I really haven’t had a “tech talk” about the equipment and software that I use for writing. That might be worth a write-up this week.

And, I got some other ideas, as well. So, I might have one idea, or two, that might come out on Saturday or Sunday. Though actually, the last post I put out on Monday got some good hits. Maybe I save one for then as well? Also, I’ve hit a few milestones that I probably need to address soon, so that will guarantee me some

I don’t want to devote too much time to this blog, but I do want to write regularly and more often. The fact that I’ve actually kept this site going longer than any writing project I’ve ever done is pretty incredible.

Anyway, here are the stats, as always. I think I’m making a comeback this week. Take care, everyone.

Writing statistics for the week ending 7.24.2021:
+1,741 words written.
Days writing: 3 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 7.21.2021: Worst week this year

[AUTHOR’S NOTE: I typed in “Worst week ever” for my Pexels image search and the featured image was one of the images that popped up.]

I’m not even going to try to whitewash things today: Last week was a disgrace for me writing. Absolutely the worst writing week I’ve had all year after one of the best ones last week.

I could mention that I had finally gotten a new laptop after a week of mucking around with the old one, I could tell you that I got hit with the procrastination bug – but that would all be excuses. I just need to sit down and freaking write and get it over with, starting with this blog.

It never ceases to stun me how when I have more time than I could ever make use of over the past several weeks that I haven’t made use of it at all. Sometimes I waste time so much it’s disheartening to me.

The one good thing I can say in my defense this week is that I am sticking to this new program of doing the basic journal updates on the Wednesdays after my writing week and my more feature-type blogs on Saturdays, as well as some other times during the weekend. In fact, right after I finish this blog, I’m going to look through my drafts to see which one might be the best candidate for this coming Saturday.

So, here are the stats, for those who want a laugh. I know I’ll manage better this week. Hopefully, I’ll manage a lot better.

Writing statistics for the week ending 7.17.2021:
+553 words written.
Days writing: 2 of 7.
Days revising/planning: 1 of 7 for 30 total minutes.
Daily Writing Goals Met (500+ words or 30 minutes of planning/revisions): 1 of 7 days.

Writing Journal 7.17.2021: Hitting a good stride… for now

I’m only sort of celebrating today. I wound up getting an award from my writing group for my work output last month – the Weekend Warrior award. It will be interesting to see how often I might win it, but I will bring it back to Des Moines for our next meeting.

Whether I will be a repeat champ is a big question. One issue I can blame it on is attempting to find a new rig to write on. But I also think there is still a bit of procrastination, especially with writing actual blog posts that have something to do with more than just my weekly totals.

Since I have been doing better with planning writing journals in advance, I need to make a similar vow for my blogging on other topics. I am going to make a resolution here that I will put out a midweek blog about non-journal stuff. Or, now that I’m thinking about it, should I do the journals on Wednesdays and save the other stuff for the weekends? I just thought of that right now.

Let me try that this coming week, and I’ll see how it goes. I have a backlog of material I keep saying I want to get to, but I never do. Now might be my chance at that. So, next journal blog on Wednesday, and at least one other blog topic on Saturday. Let’s see if I can stick to that.

So. here’s the stats for last week. These are much better than the last couple of week’s to be honest. Actually, I’m not going to lie, this was a rock star week for me. Actually, forget rock star, this was the MOST PRODUCTIVE week I’ve had all year. That is cause for celebration (yea, yea, yea). See you around.

Writing statistics for the week ending 7.3.2021:
+9,328 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 7.10.2021: Up against a deadline – again

Man, I wish I did this more often without leaving it until the last minute. But, I’m an old reporter, aren’t I? I always seem to do better when there is a desperate deadline rather than getting things done casually.

One thing that has become clear to me (even though I am not acting on it – yet – is that I need to be blogging more. People want to read more than just my weekly totals. And, I think I have more to say. In fact, I think I will try to blog something tomorrow. Trust me, it won’t be trash lol.

Here’s my numbers for the previous week. A little lower than the previous week’s, but I think I really bumped up the numbers the next go-around, trust me.

Anyway, here they are. Writers keep writing and everyone keep safe.

Writing totals from the week ending 7.3.2021:
+3,206 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, 7.3.2021: Getting back on track

[PHOTO NOTE: Just literally did a Pexels search for “getting back on track” and that popped up. Anyway.]

Not too much to talk about on this blog – I’m hoping to get into a lot more with some other blogs this week. However, I will say I wrote more this last week than I did for the entire rest of the month of June combined, so I’m considering that a win to build on.

Hey, just a reminder that I have an actual, no-lie appearance on my calendar coming up! I’m going to be appearing at the 6th annual Indie Author Book Expo at Valley West Mall in West Des Moines July 10th. I will be at the expo from 11 am to 5 pm that day. Come down to talk with me and pick up a copy of my novel The Holy Fool. Here’s a link to the event. Hope to see you there.

Writing statistics for the week ending 6.26.2021:

+3,720 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): 4 of 7 days.


Writing Journal 6.26.2021: On deadline and… maybe turning things around? (Last week still sucked – the worst this year.)

[PHOTO NOTE: Did another Pexels search on procrastination, and I got this image.]

There’s not too many ways I can sugarcoat this – my writing productivity has sucked all this week and honestly this month. I know for a fact that this month will be the worst of the year and will likely bring my averages down for sure.

What I am going through is not a writing block but writing procrastination. I know exactly what I want to write, but I don’t want to get down to the grinding business of actually putting it down. Trust me, I know a bit about procrastination. But, maybe it can be a good thing for the creative process, like this article in LitHub discusses.

Why it’s effecting me is a totally different question. To be honest, I have finished a really rough school year of teaching – so rough, in fact, that I decided about halfway through the year not to return after my contract was up. For a while, I questioned whether I should remain in teaching at all, but I have decided to see if I can continue either full time or part time with another district. I want to see if it was the place that was the reason for that dread and not something else.

So, trying to recover from all that has been an issue. The other issue is that I have been working on some of this fan fiction for a while, and maybe I’ve gotten somewhat tired of having it in my head. In the new writer’s group I joined in Des Moines, one writer talked about how she preferred not to plot out too heavily in advance in writing because she found that she had often gotten tired of the story before she had even written it. By that, I think she meant that the story wasn’t as fresh to her as it could have been. I think I can relate to that, although I won’t give up on the story I’m telling, though.

I’m about 20 minutes before the end of Saturday, so I need to wrap stuff up before I hit my deadline.

Keep an eye on this page – I will be mentioning the first in-person event and meet and greet I’ll have hosted in… a long time, with both my move out to South Central Iowa (Chariton) and the whole COVID mess. I will have details in the next blog or two that I do.

Again, my record for last week was the worst weekly total I have had all year. However, I took a look at some of the preliminary numbers I have for the current week. I’m definitely on the upswing, and I’m easily going to have the best week I’ve had all month,

Anyway, here are the numbers. Keep safe out there, and talk with you soon.

PS – I was having some trouble with cross-posting these blogs to my Twitter handle. I think I’ve sorted that out.

Writing statistics for the week ending 6.19.2021:

+856 words written.
Days writing: 4 of 7.
Days revising/planning: 1 of 7 for 30 total minutes.
Daily Writing Goals Met (500+ words or 30 minutes of planning/revisions): 1 of 7 days.

Writing Journal 6.19.2021: Sick of the inertia

[OBLIGATORY PHOTO NOTE: This was the only image that popped up when I did a Pexel search for “Inertia.” You’re welcome.]

Again, another ridiculously unproductive week. Whenever I get a second and care enough about it, I’m going to check the last three or so years of my writing journals to see if I experienced a letdown during the weeks after I got done with the school year. To be honest, I always have the feeling of wanting to bug out for at least the first few weeks.

About the only thing that I can brag up is that this week is better than last week, but when last week was the second-worst productive writing week I had all year, that’s honestly not a high bar to climb.

I need to write a lot more.

I owe everyone at least two different Writer’s biography entries, and maybe one more on top of that. I’ll try and space them out over the next two weeks, but they are overdue. You’ve been hearing me hint at this stuff for so long, it is time to produce.

Hopefully I do better this week. I’m just thankful I got to this relatively on time and not at the last minute like I did a couple weeks back.

Anyway, here’s the stats. Enjoy and have a laugh. Writers, please keep writing, and everyone keep safe.

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Writing statistics for the week ending 6.12.2021:
+1,233 words written.
Days writing: 3 of 7.
Days revising/planning: 1 of 7 for  30 total minutes.
Daily Writing Goals Met (500+ words or 30 minutes of planning/revisions): 2 of 7 days.