2016 End-Of-Year Writing Statistics

My annual goal for 2016 was a modest 12 pages a month (rounding off to 36,000 words/year). This wasn’t counting any work on a novel-length writing project either, just 3,000 words a month in articles, short stories, blogging and book reviews to round out my portfolio. Let’s see what happened…

Month By Month Analysis

January 2016

  • Articles: 0
  • Blogging: 0
  • Reviews: 0
  • RPGs: 2 (734 words total)
  • Short Fiction/Poetry: 0

January Total: 734 words, or 24% of my overall goal.

February 2016

  • Articles: 0
  • Blogging: 5 (4,797 words)
  • Reviews: 0
  • RPGs: 383 words
  • Short Fiction/Poetry: 0

In total, I exceeded my goal for the month for a total of 5,180, or 173% of my overall goal for February. Woot!

March 2016

  • Articles: 0
  • Blogging: 1 (554 words)
  • Reviews: 0
  • RPGs: 0
  • Short Fiction/Poetry: 0

March was a bad month for productivity, a mere 18% of my overall goal for the month met.

April 2016

  • Articles: 0
  • Blogging: 1 (1,136 words)
  • Reviews: 2 (364 words)
  • RPGs: 0
  • Short Fiction/Poetry:

My monthly total was 2,766 words, roughly 92% of my overall goal for April.

May 2016

  • Articles: 1 (1,339 words)
  • Blogging: 4 (1,685 words)
  • Reviews: 3 (649 words)
  • RPGs: 0
  • Short Fiction/Poetry: 0

My total for the month was at 3,673 words, or 122% of my overall goal for May. Hurray!

June 2016

  • Articles: 1 (1,698 words)
  • Blogging: 2 (1,556 words)
  • Reviews: 1 (283 words)
  • RPGs: 1 (714 words)
  • Short Fiction/Poetry: 0

The total for June was 4,251 words or 142% of my overall goal for June. Yeah!

July 2016

July was a no-good, awful, rotten, horrible month where I ignored my blog and every other writing outlet I could. The total for July was 0.

August 2016

  • Articles: 0
  • Blogging: 2 (366 words)
  • Reviews: 0
  • RPGs: 0
  • Short Fiction/Poetry: 0

The total for August was 366 words or 12% of my overall goal. Not quite my worst month of the year, but pretty darn close.

September 2016

  • Articles: 1 (983 words)
  • Blogging: 7 (3,602 words)
  • Reviews: 0
  • RPGs: 0
  • Short Fiction/Poetry: 2 (759 words)

I feel like I began starting to fight back a little in September. I managed to exceed my monthly goal and ended up with 5,344 words, or 178% of my overall goal.

October 2016

  • Articles: 0
  • Blogging: 4 (1,259)
  • Reviews: 0
  • RPGs: 0
  • Short Fiction/Poetry: 0

Two steps forward, one step back. I did a bit of blogging this month but not much else, meeting only 42% of my overall goal.

November 2016

  • Articles: 1 (661 words)
  • Blogging: 4 (1,365 words)
  • Reviews: 2 (369 words)
  • RPGs: 0
  • Short Fiction/Poetry: 0

Slightly better than the previous month but not a winner at 2,395 words, or 80% of my overall goal. I had strongly contemplated participating in NaNoWriMo this year and decided against it based on my overall (very low) writing stats across this year.

December 2016

In December, I began an experiment of trying to write 4 pages a week towards my screenplay, Borderland, with an ambitious (for me) overall goal of 3,000 words for the month, matching my target for all the other monthly bits and bobs I normally work on combined.

  • Articles: 2 (622 words)
  • Blogging: 2 (1,109 words)
  • Reviews: 3 (934 words)
  • RPGs: 1 (330 words)
  • Short Fiction/Poetry: 1 (574 words)
  • **Screenplay**: 1,725 words

This turned out to be a positive step for me as it slowly my word count for the month began creeping up and I ended up surpassing my monthly goal. The total was 194%.

If you weren’t following along with a calculator, the total for the year was 32,356 words, or roughly averaged out to 10 pages a month of writing, instead of the 12 pages a month that I set out to do.

A big thank you to Jamie Raintree (www.JamieRaintree.com) whose spreadsheet is available for purchase and took all of the hard work of crunching numbers and percentages and made it easy for me.

writing-828911_1920What Did I Learn?

In January 2016, when I began making my estimates for the year, I specifically made conservative writing goals, hoping to meet or surpass them. Looking at the results across the year, and breaking it down by category, really helped me to understand where I did well, and where I went horribly wrong.

Of my five overall categories, I surpassed or met three of them, the reviews (105%) and the articles (164%), which I’m pleased that I was pretty close to correctly guessing how much work in these areas I would get in over a given year. In my short fiction/poetry, I really only wanted to dabble so I exceeded my tiny goal (133%).

In the other three categories, I can pinpoint problem areas. In blogging (72%), there were two months when I didn’t blog AT ALL (January, July) and I think this made the difference between success and failure.

The biggest differential was what I had anticipated in writing for my RPGs and what actually happened (51%). Part of this was losing a platform for publishing fan fiction earlier in the year (and consequentially, not backing up what I’d written…) and for a period in the fall, distancing myself from gaming altogether.

Work on a novel-length project was practically non-existent (until the screenplay) and not included in these statistics until December.

Looking Ahead To 2017

Given this low turnout over the past year (and failing to meet even a modest goal), I think I need to seriously evaluate whether I should continue writing at all.

Certainly over the past year, these stats would signify that writing is an occasional hobby for me, definitely not a business. The words that I have been getting down in these categories have been intermittent and difficult. I’ve gotten to a point where I’ve discovered that writing isn’t as easy as it used to be for me and if I want to make any real progress, it’s only going to come around with hard work and probably extensive revisions (both of which are tracks I’ve tried most earnestly to avoid in writing).

So, I need to make a decision — whether to push ahead through the proverbial pain and make some progress, or perhaps just resign to writing being merely a hobby, and set aside the notion of writing as a career.

With these gloomy thoughts in mind, I thank you all for your readership and support. Happy new year.

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