Writing Journal 9.15.2021: Not too much to show for it… but I’m not just surrendering

If you couldn’t tell from my more recent post, I’ve had a time trying to write stuff this week.

There’s not too much of an explanation for it… but I’m proud that I’ve been at least tinkering around with trying to do something writing-wise. I don’t like to just write for the sake of it – I want to produce good material.

However, you inevitably face the idea that, if you want to write regularly, not all of your production is going to be first class, or even something you prefer that other people read. I’ve not gotten to that level recently, but I think I’m more understanding about those writers who prefer to keep some of their writings hidden permanently from public view (only to have well-meaning family or fans unearth them for good or for bad. I think Sir Terry Pratchett had the best idea when he had someone drive one of those asphalt rollers over a hard drive containing some unfinished/rough draft works after his death.

Anyway, here’s the stats. If I do the conversion of 500 words = 30 minutes of planning/revising, I’d add 2,000 more words to my total last week.

Of course, the numbers would still be unimpressive. At least, they would be less so. See you around and keep safe.

Writing statistics for the week ending 9.11.2021:
+1,088 words written.
Days writing: 2 of 7.
Days revising/planning: 2 of 7 for 120 total minutes.
Daily Writing Goals Met (500+ words or 30 minutes of planning/revisions): 3 of 7 days.

Writing Journal 9.8.2021: Want to make more positive movement

I just think that I’m spinning my wheels a bit.

I don’t think that I took enough advantage of my time this summer. It seems so much easier not to do things rather than do them. This poem seems particularly apt at the moment.

I just need to get to work on the items that matter to me. That includes trying to build not only this blog but the new podcasts I’m doing.

Even though I just did nothing writing-wise Labor Day weekend, I was keeping busy helping my son move to Des Moines. Him and my daughter are beginning their own adventures and I envy them.

Here’s the stats for last week. Not garbage, but not the best either. That’s about all for now – I’ll work on another blog post or two this week.

Writing statistics for the week ending 9.4.2021:
+2,639 words written.
Days writing: 4 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 9.1.2021: The start of teaching… and no difference in production? Really?

Yeah, just easing into September… and restarting teaching again, in a new district, and… it’s going well. The staff have been great to work with, and I’m starting to get to know the kids and getting into the routines of another school year.

It’s been a bizarre week to be honest. After having my young adult daughter and son living with us in our comfy home for the past half year, we are suddenly going to find ourselves empty nesters once again. Daughter Madeline has returned to her studies on campus at the University of Iowa, while my son happened upon a new job in Des Moines doing maintenance for a hotel. I’ve never been a maintenance kind of guy, but I do envy him living in the heart of a bit city with just a five-minute walk to work. I’m hoping those are just the start of their adventures.

As for myself, I am surprised that my production for this past week was statistically unchanged from the previous week – essentially, not a star turn but not total rubbish, either. I was hoping to have better production over the weekend, but that was not to be and my Labor Day weekend looks to be busy. So, we will see. I have had some hard words this week to get out, but I powered through it and glad with what I have gotten.

On another note, remember when, among other things, I bemoaned not having an Alphasmart anymore? Well, I managed to get myself an Alphasmart Neo 2 in very good condition. Once I get a proper USB cord for it, I just might start putting it to use. Wish me luck.

And, as always, here’s the stats. Stay safe out there – things are getting a bit more virusy as we get into fall.

Writing statistics for the week ending 8.28.2021:
+2,676 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 8.25.2021: Slight slowdown as classes begin

Again, as most of these journals are becoming, this will be relatively short.

(I think I mentioned a couple days ago about setting up a podcast tied to this blog. There is an option to convert blog posts into podcasts. I think I might use this option on some of my blogs, but I don’t think I will try it with the journal posts. Those can get pretty repetitive.)

I am hoping that the start of the new teaching year will not lead to a slowdown of my productivity. I need to try and analyze that a bit, looking back as some of my past yearly journals, but sometime my productivity has actually increased when I have less time to write than before. Maybe it is the old journalist in me.

Anyway, the stats are below. Not totally disgraceful, and relatively consistent, but not exactly up to par At least I wrote more total words this week than the previous one. Hoping for better next week.

Writing statistics for the week ending 8.21.2021:
+2,770 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 8.18.2021: A better week than the numbers might suggest

As I get closer to the start of the school year (whatever that looks like due to the Delta version of COVID), I’m quite curious about what affect it will have on my writing and work outside of my day job. I get the feeling that I might be more productive that I was during the summer. We will have to see.

As for this week, it might seem a drop from last week… but not exactly. Let me explain with the numbers.

Writing statistics for the week ending 8.14.2021:
+1,584 words written.
Days writing: 3 of 7.
Days revising/planning: 3 of 7 for 105 total minutes.
Daily WGM (500+ words or 30 minutes of planning/revisions): 5 of 7 days.

The week before last week, I wrote 3,986 words but spent no time revising or planning. Remember, every 30 minutes I spend revising/planning is the equivalent for me of 500 words. So, with that math, the 105 minutes I spent doing that last week is the equivalent of 1,750 words, which would give me an equivalent word count from last week of 3,334. That’s not more than last week, of course, but it is not a massive drop-off, either.

So, I will see how things go next week. So far, it looks like I’m making a good start of it, but we’ll see by next week, lol. Later.

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.