Writing Journal 22 June 2022: The mini-slump ends now(?)

[PHOTO NOTE: This was the first thing I pulled up when I did a search for “game planning.” It’ll fit, trust me.]

Keeping this short because I want to get it out before my self-imposed arbitrary deadline passes lol.

I think I got into a mini-slump for the past few days. Now that I’m in a vacation mode, I know what I have to do, but I now realize that I need to have an actual plan for when I have open time and not just say “Oh, I’ll do whatever I do.”

Today I’m trying to apply that to my daily schedule. Woke up early, got a good walk in, and was ready to write after breakfast. Then I found out the new season of Umbrella Academy was on Netflix and I got distracted. (So far it’s been a great season lol.)

Anyway, not the best of weeks. The past four days have been horrible. I’m going to try and turn it around, again, ugh.

Here’s the stats. Enjoy.

[QUICK AUTHOR’S NOTE: I’m changing the format of the dating because I like how they set it up in Europe (day, month, year) rather than how it usually is in the US (month, day, year). It just makes more sense for me to have information organized in a clear pattern (smallest time measurement up to the biggest time measurement). Now I know I’m getting picky about my writing organization. :)]

Writing statistics for the week ending 18 June 2022:
+3,756 words written.
Days writing: 6 of 7.
Days revising/planning: 1 of 7 for 30 total minutes.
Daily Writing Goal Met (500+ words or 30 minutes of planning/revisions): 6 of 7 days.

Writing Journal 6.8.2022: Better, but I really need to get on it now

Not spending too much time on this today – I want to make more progress on some other writings and get stuff put out.

Last week was much better than last week as far as sheer writing went. Not fantastic numbers, but pretty good.

I want to do some more things since I have the time this week. In no order of importance:

  • Do some more research on Substack.
  • Start
  • Set up a to do list for getting book projects published.
  • Start wrapping up some blog posts that have been languishing in my draft box for literal months.

It’ll be great if I keep my numbers up, but I really need to get on with some of this other stuff or I’ll feel like this week has been a failure. Let’s see how that all works out (hehe).

Anyway, here’s the numbers. I’m hoping you’ll hear from me sooner than next week.

Writing statistics for the week ending 6.4.2022:
+3,874 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): 6 of 7 days.

Writing Journal 6.1.2022: Disaster… weeklong slump… but I think I might pull it out and I’m not that far off pace so I need to get over myself

[PHOTO NOTE: This was the first thing that popped up when I typed “Disaster Area” in the image search.]

No whining, no crying, no complaining. I sensed there was going to be a slump the minute I looked at my numbers from last year and realized that the end of the school year usually means that mentally I need a break and I usually take a break by sitting in front of a laptop and doing nothing.

But, this year I was aware of it. I knew ahead of time that this was coming, and I decided that I needed to get ahead of it or try to manage it. I also had that goal I’ve been talking about – 200,000 words this year, and meeting my minimum daily goals (500 words a day or 30 minutes of planning/revisions in a day). Now, let’s see how far I am from those goals as May wraps up.

First, here are last week’s totals, which are easily the worst I’ve had this year. The fact that I have only had one week in three figures rather than several is at least good news, because the following numbers aren’t:

Writing statistics for the week ending 5.28.2022:
+580 words written.
Days writing: 2 of 7.
Days revising/planning: 3 of 7 for 105 total minutes.
Daily Writing Goals Met (500+ words or 30 minutes of planning/revisions): 3 of 7 days.

Now, here are May’s overall numbers:

Writing statistics for May 2022:
Words: 12,563
Revise/Plan: 255 minutes
Daily Writing Goals Met: 54%

Again, this was the worst month statistically for me this year, although the second half of the month was when I really collapsed.

Anyway, where does this leave me regarding my goals I mentioned above?

As of June 1, 2022, I am counting 91,179 words to my total so far. I have met my daily writing goals a total of 76 percent of the time. Assuming that I want to be on pace to get to 200,000 words this year, I am still more than 8,000 words ahead of my pace and also ahead of the 70 percent mark.

So… I’m not panicking. I have the feeling that the fact that I have been monitoring the numbers on a monthly basis more closely than I did last year makes me more comfortable than I was last year when I was just guessing.

I have the whole month of June off. It’s going to be a long month, too. I’m getting more confident that this will only be a lost week rather than a lost month.

I’ll leave you with that. Going to get back to some of those things I wanted to write.

Writing Journal 5.25.2022: Ugh, or, stopping the rot

It’s an overturned coffee kind of day – make that week.

I’ve officially been on summer vacation for the past… 119.5 hours as of this posting.

I had assumed that I was going to have a little bit of a let down. I had a massive one last year right around this time. And sure enough, it came again, perhaps a little earlier than I thought.

But I’m not panicking and retreating into a shell this time.

I know what my goals are. I know what I have to do. I have to keep writing, even if it’s gibberish at this point. I know what I can write about, and now I have the time to do it. I just have to wake myself up.

I also have to set aside some time to research what I need to do to get self-published. Even if it’s a disaster, I want to do it and start putting out books and written materials. I’m tired of being a one-book writer. If I’m going to be a starving artist, I want to at least control my destiny.

Brave talk, Liegois. Now you have to back it up, because you sure haven’t done it for the past week. But the past week is in the past now.

On a lighter note, I got a ticket to see the US Men’s National Team (football) play Uruguay in 11 days. It’ll be the first time I get to see the USMNT in person, so I’m hyped about that. I might even write about that (though not on the Sunday I go there, lol).

Anyway, here’s the stats. I’m off to try and see if I can write anything of more interest later.

Writing statistics for the week ending 5.21.2022:
+3,582 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): 3 of 7 days.

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 4.20.2022: No jokes to be made

Heh heh.

Right, on with it.

Despite my slight self-handicapping, a slight hiccup regarding my writing space, and the Easter weekend, I wound up having… not a bad writing week? And maybe one of the better writing weekends that I’ve had for a while, despite not typing anything during Easter Sunday. Anyway, I’m going to keep up with my new routine and see if that doesn’t have repeat results%.

I’m also happy that I wrote some blogs, even though they were sort of first-person-heavy, but I think some people might have gotten something out of it? Anyway.

My plan for the next few nights:

  1. Write, no matter what it is or what type of quality results.
  2. Somehow complete this review regarding Wheel of Time that only I think I probably care about all things considered.
    1. Again, at this point quality is not the primary concern, completion is.
    2. This is more a point of pride at this moment than anything else.
  3. Maybe, possibly, fool around with Substack and see what sort of information I can find out about writing there.
    1. It could be an interesting idea where I would build a small side living with writing.
    2. I have a long way to go before I get things going there.
    3. It would not take the place of this site. Somehow, I would crosspost somehow.
  4. Start thinking of a gameplan of how I’m going to use all this free time from mid-May of this year to mid-August. I don’t want to waste it like I did last year.
  5. Keep up the writing pace. At least that’s working for now. Even with the lighter numbers, I was still on pace for this week, both in total words and the percentage of days I met my quota.

Anyway, here’s last week’s numbers. Hope your Easter/Passover/whatever season worked out for you.

Writing statistics for the week ending 4.16.2022:
+4,229 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.

% – I’m not getting into what the routine change is. Honestly, it’s so mundane that it would hardly qualify as good advice for anyone. Some things I’d prefer to keep to myself.

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.