Writing Journal 21 December 2022: Over the line and into extra time (mixing my sporting metaphors LOL)

I had the crazy idea earlier this year that I might want to write at least 200,000 words this year. I was motivated to do that after I had a slump of writing a lot less than that and realizing I wanted to have standards for myself for once. I had managed to equal that output in 2020, writing an all-time record of 208,919 during that year. I had the feeling I could do it again.

According to my estimates, I finally got over the line to break my official record sometime on 13 December 2022 (Tuesday). I then wrote another 404 words the next day and then my new productivity fell off a cliff, as you will see from last week’s numbers. As of the end of 17 December 2022 (Saturday), I’m now sitting at 209,611 words for this year. Yay, me.

Anyway, here’s last week’s totals:

Writing statistics for the week ending 17 December 2022:
1,711 words written.
Days writing: 4 of 7.
Days revising/planning: 3 of 7 for 120 total minutes.
Daily Writing Goals Met (500+ words or 30 minutes of planning/revisions): 4 of 7 days.


To paraphrase a saying from longtime Manchester City fans, that’s typical Liegois for you – get right over that finish line (or sometime close to it) and I mentally just bug out. I think the fact that we had the last bit of the World Cup going on this week and it is getting close to the winter break for my school and both students and teachers alike are eying the exits.

However, one of the things that I swore to myself is that while self-analysis can be good, and it has helped me better understand my mental blocks and foibles when it comes to writing, there is a time when you can over rely on it.

I have seen parallels between how I see writing and how many of my students see writing. In their case, many of them don’t have the desire to be good writers. Part of that is because they aren’t interested in the craft (just like I wasn’t interested in algebra and geometry thirty years ago), but part of that is because they have convinced themselves that they can’t get any better as writers. Do I think that I can help develop people with little to no writing abilities into fantastic, top class writers? No, that’s not realistic, and I admit as much to them. But do I think it is possible for anyone to improve how they write? I absolutely do.

It was 10 years ago or so when I realized that I was talking to myself about being a writer rather than actually writing, and I started thinking about how I would change that. It was five years ago when I started this blog and decided that I would start to chronicle that development process, as well as any insights and advice that I had managed to pick up along the way. I managed to stick to writing online, even when I struggled to post anything online other than just random writing thoughts or a record of how many words I wrote the previous week.

Then I started writing more. Then I managed to actually get a book published (and it looks like another one is on the way) a couple of years ago. Then the yearly totals started to grow… and they shrank from the previous year and that made me irritated beyond measure, even though I had gone for years in the past without writing a single creative word.

I’m looking at what I accomplished this year, how I started a new Substack page, how I’m more productive than ever… and it’s not enough now. I want to do more, keep pushing myself to higher levels. I want to keep publishing, I want to grow my Substack and this blog, and I want to accomplish more. It has not been or will it be an easy or smooth process. But I’m finally starting to see the gains that I have been making over the past several years, and I want more of it.

So, here’s my typical plea to sign up for my Substack page. Enjoy.

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