Writing Journal 24 November 2022: Plodding toward the finish (and Thanksgiving break)

Hi, everyone. Hope all is going well with as we ease into the Thanksgiving week. I have a full five straight days of vacation and I definitely need them, I think.

There’s been a bit of a refreshing and a redesign that I’m doing a “soft launch” on this week. I think I’ll get into it in more detail on the next blog post I write, which I’ll post Saturday, I think. Essentially, it’s a bit of an update to get some of my new links up and some old items I don’t use down.

It’s still been a slow writing period for me. I did slightly better than last week. There was a part of me that considered that I might have actually reached my 200,000-word goal for this year by Thanksgiving, but it might be tight. As of last Saturday, I have about 4,200 words left to get to that mark. That’s an average week for me, so maybe by next week I will be able to pop the proverbial champagne cork in celebration. We’ll see.

Here’s the stats for last week.

Writing statistics for the week ending 20 November 2022:
+3,771 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.

And this is the point in every one of my posts where I’ll ask you to subscribe to my mailing list for my Substack blog, The Writing Life With Jason Liegois. I’m trying to build up a strong email list so that I can keep in contact with people to let them know what’s going on with me, to talk about opportunities to talk with me about writing or writing advice, and, oh yeah, maybe sell a book or two. It’s free to do and trust me, I’m not even thinking about a paid subscription just yet. Just click on the button below to get yourself sorted.

Anyway, that’s it for now. Writers keep writing and the rest of you stay safe.

Writing Journal 16 November 2022: This week was maybe par at best

[PHOTO NOTE: I rearranged my bookshelves and also got a couple of new items. The Son by Philip Meyer is turning into a nice little read.]

Meeting my word count goal of 200,000 for the year 2022 is getting closer by the day. I’m just about to reach it. I’m just under 10,000 words to the goal. If I wrote out of my mind for the next 10 days I just might be able to actually reach it by Thanksgiving.

But given my writing rates recently, that might be a bridge too far. The numbers for last week are not horrific but not inspiring either.

Writing statistics for the week ending 12 November 2022:
+3,364 words written.
Days writing: 5 of 7.
Days revising/planning: 1 of 7 for 60 total minutes.
Daily Writing Goals Met (500+ words or 30 minutes of planning/revisions): 5 of 7 days.

Again, if this was a younger me who seemed to struggle for any sort of consistency writing, those wouldn’t be bad numbers. But then again, I’m not settling for okay numbers, I want good numbers and consistent numbers.

Even if I’m working full-time at another job like I am now, I still should be over 4,000 words per week. If I just meet my daily writing quote of 500 words a day, that would add up to 3,500 words. Just good isn’t enough, though.

Oh, I’m also trying to experiment with Mailchimp to see if I can build an email community that might be interested in what I have to write, but I’m trying to keep up with the writing at the same time. Maybe I start looking at it in December once I met my goal, hehe.

Anyway, all you other writers keep writing and everyone keep safe.

Writing Journal 9 November 2022: I’m close to the finish line of my yearly writing goals

I’m not at the finish line for my yearly goals, but I’m definitely getting close to them.

When I started this year, for the first time ever I decided to set two yearly goals for myself. Given my writing performance over the past four years (I’ve tracked my word count for a few years before that, but 2018 was the first year that I used my current system), I believed 200,000 words was an attainable goal. Also, given that past performance, I believed that setting an overall goal of meeting my daily writing quotas at least 70 percent of the time was also attainable.

As we continue through November and some other writers are blitzing their way through National Novel Writers Month, I’m going at a bit slower pace than them (again, a minimum of 500 words per day as opposed to 1,667 per day that you would need to successfully complete NaNoWriMo), but I’m putting up some solid numbers last week and recently.

As of right now, I estimate that including last week’s total, I’m less than 14,000 words away from reaching my goal. I could very easily reach that by the end of the month, never mind the year. After that, my current official personal word count record is 208,919, set back in 2020. With about eight weeks left in the year, that record is absolutely within reach.

My current record of daily writing quota met (either 500 words a day or 30 minutes of revisions/planning) stands at 78 percent set in 2019. It would take a near miracle for me to match that mathematically this year, but as of right now I am averaging 75 percent success. I haven’t gotten over 70 percent for a year since 2019, so that’s good news for me.

Anyway, here’s the numbers for last week – a pretty solid one for me. Hope all of you writers out there are having good weeks too. Take care.

Writing statistics for the week ending 5 November 2022:
+4,666 words written.
Days writing: 6 of 7.
Days revising/planning: 0 of 7 for 0 total minutes.
Daily writing goals met (500 words a day and/or 30 minutes of revisions/planning: 5 of 7 days.

Writing Journal 2 November 2022: A dry patch kind of week, but the words are still adding up

I haven’t had such a slow writing period for a while, not exactly like this for a while.

I have to say I’m not really sure about why that is. There is plenty of stuff that I can be writing, and I did produce some good stuff this week, including a decent review of the Anchor podcasting platform that came out here. However, there were some long stretches of last week where I didn’t write anything.

Writing statistics for the week ending 30 October 2022:
+2,045 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): 3 of 7 days.

By no means was this the worst writing week that I ever had – there was that infamous last week of May where my word count didn’t break four figures – but it was down there. Even with that week, however, the month of October overall was not bad.

Writing statistics for October 2022:
Words: 18,321
Revising/Planning: 210 minutes
Daily Writing Goals Met: 82%

This was definitely a decent month that would have been better if I had a good last week, but oh, well.

I think part of it is because I have started to consider putting together my own email list. Mailchimp appears to be the easiest and most straightforward platform I’ve seen and there is some good integration with it on WordPress. But that is likely a post for another day.

However, in looking at my overall numbers, I’m still feeling quite good about my progress and reaching my overall writing goals of 200,000 total words written this year and meeting my daily goals (500 words per day or 30 minutes of revisions and/or planning) at least 70 percent of the time.

As of right now, I am just slightly under 16,000 words to reaching my goal. That is about the amount of a mediocre month for me this year, so I have a chance of reaching that goal before November is out. As of right now, I’m meeting my daily goals 75 percent of the time, and I have to think that in a few weeks, there will be almost no mathematical chance that I will miss that goal. So, I have that to look forward to, at least.

That’s about it for now, I think. This isn’t going to make my daily quota, but sometimes it’s best to go for below your quota rather than trying to do more and ending up writing nothing. That’s what I’ve realized with myself, anyway. Besides, if I manage six subpar weeks in a row (where I just write maybe 3,000 words), I’ll make my quota with room to spare. That’s a good position to be in.

Take care, everyone.

Writing Journal 26 October 2022: Trucking along

I’m making some excellent progress this week. I’ve been writing a bit, both “work” and “fun” type writings.

I even got a new podcast episode done after a long hiatus from doing them. Even though the latter really doesn’t count toward any of my writing goals, it’s been a fun thing to do and I quickly got readjusted to using the editing software with the Anchor platform. I really like its simplicity and no-fuss setup.

Now that I think about it, I might wind up doing a review for that platform if I’m looking to write about something random this weekend. Also, I think I might try and keep to a consistent writing schedule for those weekend posts. Maybe 5 p.m. on Saturdays? Now, let’s see me try to keep to that, heh heh.

I’ll be interested to see what my final tally for this October will be. If I have a few more weeks in a row like I have last week, I’m feeling like I will be celebrating reaching my 200,000-word goal for 2022 a bit early – how early, it is tough to say. The next time I do one of these journals, I might have to calculate when that point might be next week. It feels a lot better than this same time last year when I realized I was going to have a worse writing year than the last one by almost every metric. Deciding to set a yearly goal in addition to my daily quotas was one of the best ideas I’ve had to help with my writing productivity.

Anyway, here’s the numbers for last week. Again, they’re looking good… and for all you writers out there, I hope you are having a great writing week as well. If not, don’t worry – you can turn it around next week. I’m definitely proof of that.

Writing statistics for the week ending 22 October 2022:
+5,873 words written.
Days writing: 7 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 19 October 2022: Feeling productive

I’ve had two great weeks in a row of writing, and it’s felt good.

I didn’t quite write as much as I did last week, but I’m feeling quite good about the numbers.

I feel like I’m writing something of value, something that I think has something to say. Whether or not it will lead to anything when it comes to financial considerations – well, as I mentioned before, that’s not something that’s a… major concern to me, but there might be some possibilities out there that I can’t quite get into just yet.

Here’s the numbers for last week:

Writing statistics for the week ending 15 October 2022:
+4,869 words written.
Days writing: 7 of 7.
Days revising/planning: 0 of 7 for 0 total minutes.
Daily Writing Goals Met (500+ words or 30 minutes of planning/revisions): 7 of 7 days.

As of the end of last week, I have written 176,007 words toward my 2022 goal of 200,000. Even if I have my worst three months of writing in a row (12,563 words during the month of May), I would still be more than 10,000 words ahead of my goal. And my first two weeks of October have not been bad at all. As far as making my goal of meeting my daily work quota (500 words per day or 30 minutes of revisions/planning work) 70 percent of the time, I’m currently averaging meeting my quota 74 percent of the time.

Again, I’m not assuming anything. You can always have writer’s block, you can always run into a dry period. I’ve gone through those many a time. But, it’s looking less and less likely that any major slump is going to keep me away from my goals. It should also be said that this might be a record year of productivity. My biggest year since I’ve been keeping track of my writing numbers from these journals was 208,919 in 2020. That record is certainly in danger of being topped. The highest percentage of times I’ve met my writing quota is 78 percent of the time in 2019, and there is an outside chance of me at least matching that level. We’ll have to see about that one.

Anyway, that’s all I have for now. I’ll be back in a while – definitely this weekend. Is there a day that I should select to put out new work? I’m thinking it might be Saturday, but sometimes I can’t get it in gear until Sunday lol.

Writing Journal 12 October 2022: Diving into the last quarter of the year

[PHOTO NOTE: Just decided to put up a generic fall photo because I for one am glad for the too-warm days to wrap up and the fall weather to begin in Iowa in earnest.]

So, I was looking over last week’s numbers… and feeling pretty good about myself, more or less. I mean, they’re not the best numbers I’ve ever had, but they are the best I’ve had since mid-August.

Might as well show you the numbers:

Writing statistics for the week ending 8 October 2022:
+5,534 words written.
Days writing: 7 of 7.
Days revising/planning: 3 of 7 for 180 total minutes.
Daily Writing Goals Met (500+ words or 30 minutes of planning/revisions): 7 of 7 days.

One of the cool things about these numbers is that I feel like I’m starting to write something substantial and not just fanfiction recently. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with that. But I do think that I’m starting to put together something on this site and on my Substack site that has quite a bit of thought to it. It’s not to the point where I could make a living at this. Subscriptions and the like are a far-off idea, and not a clear idea until I get more people reading my work. But I’m liking what I have been writing recently.

I’m still very much on track to make my 200,000-word-goal for 2022 and meeting my daily writing quota at least 70 percent of the time. I do believe that I will also set a yearly goal for next year (2023), but what that goal will look like might heavily depend on my plans for that year.

And, not to act all mysterious… but I think that I might soon be able to make an announcement about a possible future project, which will wind up taking up a bit of my time in the foreseeable future. I can’t announce anything yet until some things get sorted, but anybody reading this will be the first to hear it.

I’m going to leave it there for now. Take care everyone, and all the writers keep writing.

Writing Journal 5 October 2022: Strange end to September

So, taking a look at my numbers for the last week, they appear to indicate both good and bad news. Let’s just get to it.

Writing statistics for the week ending 1 October 2022:
3,038 words written.
Days writing: 4 of 7.
Days revising/planning: 3 of 7 for 390 total minutes.
Daily Writing Goals Met (500+ words or 30 minutes of planning/revisions): 4 of 7 days.

Writing statistics for September 2022:
Words: 15,558
Revise/Plan: 630 minutes
Daily Writing Goals Met: 75%

It was weird all around both last week and last month. The total word count was a bit of a drop from the levels I was at this past summer, but I’ve had at least two months with a lower count this year. This month was easily the most that I put in for revising and planning work, topping the second-highest month by at least 250 minutes. Finally, the number of times I met my daily writing goals was the best it has been for the past five months, so I’m happy about that.

As for my yearly goals, I am, as of the end of September, at 165, 604 words for the year to date. Despite the weird last week, that puts me more than 15,000 words above pace to match my goal of 200,000 for the entire year. I’ve also met my daily writing quotas an average of 74 percent of the time, above my goal of 70 percent for the year. I’m not even going to begin to declare victory with three months remaining in the year, but I definitely think these goals are within reach and it’s only going to be a slip-up from me that will make me miss it. I am working to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Well, I’ve been glad that I’ve been as active as I was this past week – a lot of material made it on this blog and the Substack blog, so I feel accomplished there. I’ll end up having to do more revisions this week, but I’m going to try and balance that with some new writing, so I’ll have a better week this week. My hope is to really kick it into gear during the next two months so that I can coast into December and the holiday lulls without much worry, like how a cyclist in the Tour De France will coast along with the peloton down the Champs de Elysee in Paris because they’re so far ahead on time.

I would love to coast into Christmas like that. Well, only time will tell. Writers keep writing and everyone keep safe.

Writing Journal 28 September 2022: Not productive according to the data… but there seems to be some more creativity flowing

I’m keeping this short again because I think I had at least four tabs open at once with ideas for blog posts and I want to get some of them done today lol.

From the pure numbers you’ll see later on, I wasn’t quite as productive as I was for the past couple of weeks. However, I was remaining consistent with the writing and I’ve got a whole bunch of ideas as to what I do want to write. You’ll see that coming soon.

I’m really just glad that I’m actually using this blog to talk about real writing issues and thoughts and not just mindlessly posting writing journals once every week and calling it good. In fact, some of these posts might end up being part of a larger project… but I’ll talk about it later. I’m thinking I’ll post about it on Friday.

The numbers are by no means a disaster and above what my minimum quota for the week should be if I was, in fact, writing 500 words a day (3,500 words). I’m not going to discount the idea that I’m going to run into a massive dry spell or procrastination stretch, but right now the numbers are looking in my favor.

I’ll likely do a quick recap where I stand on my 200,000 words written in 2022 and meeting daily quota at least 70 percent of the time in my next writing journal next week. Anyway, here are the numbers:

Writing statistics for the week ending 24 September 2022:
+3,563 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 21 September 2022: Another solid week and a nice trip to Badger, Iowa

I’d love every week to be something like this week, writing-wise.

I was nice and solidly productive this week and much of what I wrote ended up on this blog. That’s nice to see after many months where the only thing I produced on here were writing journals.

As for the exact numbers… they were not record-breaking, but very solid and above what I am trying to shoot for every week. If every week winds up like this, this year’s goals of 200,000 words in 2022 and meeting my daily writing quota at least 70 percent of the time is in the bag.

I also had the chance to make an appearance at the Badger (Iowa) Public Library when their librarian invited me to come to its book fair of regional authors. I had the chance to meet and network with several writers and the library was quite hospitable to me and the other authors there. It was a bit of a drive for me, but I enjoyed the experience and certainly would return there.

So, in all, it was a good week. I’ll be looking forward to seeing some falling temperatures at last now that it is officially fall in a day or so. Summer heat can get gone as soon as possible.

Anyway, here’s the numbers. Keep safe and live your lives, everyone.

Writing statistics for the week ending 17 September 2022:
+4,484 words written.|
Days writing: 6 of 7.
Days revising/planning: 1 of 7 for 120 total minutes.
Daily Writing Goals Met (500+ words or 30 minutes of planning/revisions): 6 of 7 days.