Writing Journal 4.27.2020: Down week as I try to read as much as write

Not much new news, so I will keep this short.


Had a slight drop in productivity this week as opposed to last, but not a disastrous amount, so I was happy for a small favor. I’ve been honestly a bit lethargic for the past couple of weeks. If there is someone who might be able to deal with being alone or not, it’s likely me, but not going to a library has been a bit tougher than I expected. The fact that our two dogs seem to want to hang out in my bed every evening is a bit endearing and annoying at the same time.


However, things are getting better. I’m wrapping up whatever there is left of the school year and afterward, I will be looking forward to reuniting with my wife on a more regular basis when I finish the move to Chariton, although the full transition is going to take a while.


I think it’s important that I need to do better to try and stick to a schedule. That can be sort of tough with two teens not on a regular schedule and people coming in at irregular hours to look at the old house.


I’m going to make every effort to read farther along in Lord of the Rings and do a first reaction to the next couple chapters. Wish me luck, and here are last week’s stats.


+6,048 words written.

Days writing: 4 of 7.

Days revising/planning: 2 of 7 for 45 total minutes.

Daily Writing Goals Met (500+ words or 30 minutes of planning/revisions): 5 of 7 days.

Writing Statistics for 2019 in review

So, I wound up doing this last year around this time and it was interesting to see those numbers. I also did a first half of the year review back this summer, so I’ll likely review my activity for the second half of the year, the year in it’s entirety, and maybe try and do some comparisons to the last couple of years that I was using similar stats to see if there are any changes.

Second half of 2019:

  • Jul:
    • Words: 3,465
    • Revise/Plan: 1,650
    • DWGM: 80%
  • Aug:
    • Words: 5,258
    • Revise/Plan: 1,290
    • DWGM: 82%
  • Sep:
    • Words: 38,711
    • Revise/Plan: 180
    • DWGM: 100%
  • Oct:
    • Words: 29,405
    • Revise/Plan: 1,260
    • DWGM: 94%
  • Nov:
    • Words: 10,474
    • Revise/Plan: 480
    • DWGM: 94%
  • Dec:
    • Words: 29,530
    • Revise/Plan: 510
    • DWGM: 79%
  • 2nd:
    • Words (total): 117,843
    • Words (avg.): 19,641
    • Revise/Plan (total): 5,370
    • Revise/Plan (avg.) 895
    • DWGM (avg.): 88%

And, the stats from 2019 as a whole:

  • 2019:
    • Words (total): 193,881
    • Words (avg.) 16,157
    • Revise/Plan (total): 8,865
    • Revise/Plan (avg.): 739
    • DWGM (avg.): 78%

So, how does this compare to the totals I saw the past couple of years? It’s definitely an improvement over last year, which was the first year that I used this format to track my progress.

  • 2018:
    • Words (total): 53,878
    • Words (avg.): 4,490
    • Revisions (total): 8,955
    • Revisions (avg.): 746
    • DWGM (avg.): 52%

As you can see, I did a much better job at reaching my writing quotas than last year. I wrote more words overall (even though a good portion of that is fan fiction, it’s still fiction, folks), only had a slight drop in revisions and planning, but, again, I made my quotas on a much more consistent basis than before.


So, I felt good about how my work output grew since the beginning of 2018. I might actually start developing some consistency if I don’t look out. 🙂


We’ll see how 2020 goes.

Life Changes IRL: An update

Well, I think part of the reason that I decided to take something of a writing pause is that things have been going on in real life (IRL) that have been a bit of a distraction. The biggest one of those distractions has been where my family will be living in the near future.

Normally, I don’t talk about my personal life here on the blog, but this is big news for me, and represents something of a crossroads for my family. So, I think I need to share it here.

My wife Laura has been busy with a lot of things over the past couple of years – running her own business, a close run for local political office, and, as always, volunteering in our community. However, one of her personal ambitions has been to be in city management. She worked in solid waste management for several years (long story) and had always wanted to move up the municipal ladder.

This month, we got the news that a city in south central Iowa has offered to make her their city manager. She’s going to start next month. I can’t tell you how proud I am of her, and it’s just the latest of many great accomplishments my wife has made in her life.

What it means is that there is now a countdown to my time in Muscatine. I’ve lived here for more than 30 years, and I will be moving away within a year, after our second and last kid graduates from high school here. I’m not quite sure how I’m going to handle it.

One of the strange things is that I won’t be a couple dozen blocks from the Mississippi River, one of the biggest natural features in my life. I’ve lived next to this river for 40 years (10 of those in Clinton) and I’m not sure how that will affect my head space. Somehow big bodies of water keep me centered, keep me at peace. I think that’s one of the reasons why I started Project C, this poetry collection. Many of the poems and writings I’ve put together as part of that collection have to do with life on the river. Some part of me thinks that I’ll feel like a refugee in the middle of Iowa. But, it’s a lovely town, and the people there want my wife to work for them. I can drive on over to rivers and lakes if I want to. It’s not like I stop at the Mississippi every day… but it was nice to know it was there.

Of course, I’ll miss my wife for the year that she’ll split time between there and here. But I’m used to that – we carried on a long-distance relationship during my and her years in college before getting married. We managed that without Skype, without Facebook, without even email or cheap long distance calling. I probably kept up my writing skills with the letters I sent her during those years. A year will go like a breeze.

As I go into a new adventure, I’m not forgetting my writing by any means. I’ll be away from the fellow writers I met at Writers on the Avenue here in Muscatine and the Midwest Writing Center in the Quad Cities, but I’m hopeful I can find other fellow writers in the area, especially being closer to the Des Moines area.

It’s a new and exciting adventure, and I usually do my best writing when I’m feeling good about things. All I know is that wherever I live with my wife, that’s going to be home to me. And I’ll keep writing, landbound or not.

Some Pictures Of The New Library In My Town Because Why Not

In a post just a bit ago, I talked about my background with libraries and the fact that my hometown has moved its library into a new building. I took the time yesterday to tour the place with my daughter. First impressions; very airy and bright, with plenty of places to sit and read. And, I managed to figure out the automatic checkout as well.


I think I promised to take some pictures of the new place when I got there. Well, here they are. Enjoy. I personally am looking forward to more reading and book fines in the times to come. 🙂

WOTA wants your poems!

Don’t usually do this, but I wanted to help out my local writing group. 🙂

Writers on the Avenue

Writers on the Avenue is holding a poetry contest for residents of Muscatine and adjacent counties, with prizes available in three categories: adult, teen (13-17), and youth (12 and under). The first prize in the adult category is $25. The deadline for submission is March 30, 2018.

Send 5 poems or up to 5 pages of unpublished work along with a cover sheet listing your name, mailing address, phone number, email address, category, and titles or first line(s) of poems to this email address, or mail to WOTA Poetry Contest, 2614 Imperial Oaks Drive, Muscatine, IA 52761. There is no entry fee.

All entries will be considered for publication in a winners’ anthology tentatively titled  From River to River. Complete contest rules are listed below.

If you are not a resident eligible for the contest, but would still like to submit your work for consideration for the anthology, or…

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Writing Journal, 11.19.2017: A victim of circumstances, but still a decent effort

OK. Overall, not the best week, but a better week than two weeks ago.

The totals:

+2,938 words written.

Days writing:  6 out of 7.

Daily writing goals met (500+ words): 5 out of 7 days.

Underperformed expectations, but part of it was that I had a computer crash last night and my computer took all night to run diagnostics to figure out what was up. (It’s up and running now). I am liking my consistency but not my output. This Thanksgiving break will get me ahead of the game, I am hoping.


Writing Journal, 8/20/2017

Well, I started in-service work this week, and… the production dropped a little bit. Not a massive amount, for sure, but at least a little amount. I think if I had a better Saturday of writing (by which I mean that I should have actually written), the total would be better. I got distracted yesterday, but I think I can manage it easier now.

So, the totals.

No words reviewed, (this means that I looked over the words for possible revision, adding/cutting/changing material).

2,277 words written.

Days writing: 5 out of 7 days writing fiction.

So, that’s it for now. Back at it today.