In 2014 I wrote 107,489 revised words. That is, I counted the latest version of each particular piece I worked on this year. I’m pretty happy with how much I did; it adds up to be the length of a decent sized novel. I’m going to break down the number down further in this post.
-Winter – 10,032
-Spring – 25,092
-Summer – 14,630
-Fall – 57,599
The trends here are pretty obvious when I think about what was going on in my life during each of seasons. During the semesters (spring and fall) I write a substantial amount more. Part of that can be attributed to how burnt out I am by the time a semester ends. Another important factor is the prevalence of deadlines. During the school year, there are way more that I need to meet.
The massive spike in the fall has two major factors. The first is that I joined a writing group where I need to submit a piece of fiction every three weeks and write 100 to 500 word responses to two other people’s (or one if I’m up that week) fiction every week. The second factor is that I started at Action Figure Fury in August. Having a weekly column certainly lights a fire under my ass.
-Fiction – 57,573
-Non-fiction – 30,361
-Poetry – 811
-Responses – 19,871
-Assignments – 10,106
This breakdown isn’t super interesting. I’m studying fiction, so I obviously write the most of it. I’ve had a lot more success writing non-fiction, and I’m getting it published weekly. I wouldn’t be surprised if I wrote more non-fiction than fiction this year.
Poetry is probably the biggest anomaly. I’ve published three poems, two this year, and yet I only wrote two poems this year. (The two I published were written the year before this one).
Theoretically, writing responses helps improve my writing because what I learn writing them can be applied back to my own work. That’s the idea behind workshops at least. I certainly hope it’s true, because I wrote a novella’s worth of responses this year.
Assignments are papers I wrote for literature classes. I wasted a lot of time on them this year and won’t spend anymore talking about them on here.
Publications and Blog
Last year, I’m proud to say I published 16,550 words of my writing. That weights in at around 15% of what I wrote. I also ran another 4,721 words on this here blog, so an avid reader could have read about a novella of my work, and next year I plan to do better. I’ll be publishing a post a week on Action Figure Fury, so I think I’ll do more than last year handily. Hopefully I can do better outside of that project too.
This all leads to setting goals for this year. My biggest goal is to record more data, and better figures out how I’m spending my precious little writing time. I’ve been keeping a regimented track of what I’ve done thus far on an Excel sheet, but I’m not sure how that will go once the semester starts. My goal is to figure out how I’m spending my time, and then tweaking it to maximize my productivity.
Another goal I’m setting is to write more than 107,489 words this years. I’m not going to press that hard on word count though. I’d prefer to write fewer words if they’re better. So far though, I’ve written about 5,600 words (counting this), which makes me halfway to where I finished last winter a week in.
I’m going to do my best to make this a productive year and hope you’ll do the same.