2017 End-of-Year Writing Statistics

A very dry blog post detailing stats that won’t change your life, but, it’s my way of being publicly accountable for whether or not I am writing on a regular basis, so if that’s something that at all interests you, please, read on. For last year’s entry, click here.

I generally have a fairly good notion when I’m setting up my writing goals for what my big projects of the year will entail. In 2017, I wanted to continue to make time for writing articles for The Scribe, the literary journal of my local writing guild (my involvement is a way I like to give back to the literary community). I knew that I’d want to blog, at least a little, here. I had hopes of perhaps revisiting a dystopian sci-fi script I wrote in college called Borderland. I knew that I definitely wanted to continue reviewing books for the Historical Novel Society, on my quest to obtain 100+ publication credits. And while I was unsure how much short fiction, poetry or RPG-related writing I would be doing in 2017, since I tracked them in 2016, I added those to my spreadsheet.

One big change for 2017 is that I also began keeping track of my numbers for my journaling/prewriting. Part of getting back in the habit of writing more is just allowing myself to write about anything, even if it’s potentially never publishable. The act of sitting down and just writing is part of the exercise and every little bit counts, so, between the eight projects I’ve mentioned above, I kept a record for the year, which I’ll do a month-by-month breakdown for you below.

But first, my annual goals for the year…

  1. Articles: to write 3,000 words.
  2. Blogging:  to write 16,000 words.
  3. Borderland (script): to write 5,000 words.
  4. Reviews: to write 1,500 words.
  5. RPGs: no set goal for 2017.
  6. Short Fiction and/or Poetry: to write 6,000 words.
  7. Prewriting and/or Journaling: to write 52,500 words.

Estimated end-of-year total: 84,000 words.

January 2017

  • Articles: 0
  • Blogging: 5 posts (2763 total)
  • Borderland script: 0
  • Reviews: 0
  • RPG: 0
  • Short Fiction/ Poetry: 1 (287 words)
  • Prewriting/Journal: 0

January total: 3,050 words.

February 2017

Articles: 0
Blogging: 3 (1720 words)
Borderland script: 0
Reviews: 0
RPG: 0
Short Fiction/ Poetry: 0
Prewriting/Journal: 0

February total: 1,720 words.

March 2017

Articles: 0
Blogging: 2 (10,50 words)
Borderland script: 0
Reviews: 1 (175 words)
RPG: 0
Short Fiction/ Poetry: 0
Prewriting/Journal: 0

March total: 1,225 words.

April 2017

Articles: 0
Blogging: 1 (192 words)
Borderland script: 0
Reviews: 0
RPG: 0
Short Fiction/ Poetry: 0
Prewriting/Journal: 0

April total: 192 words.

May 2017

Articles: 0
Blogging: 1 (171 words)
Borderland script: 0
Reviews: 0
RPG: 0
Short Fiction/ Poetry: 0
Prewriting/Journal: 0

May total: 171 words.

June 2017

Articles: 0
Blogging: 2 (1404 words)
Borderland script: 0
Reviews: 2 (480 words)
RPG: 0
Short Fiction/ Poetry: 0
Prewriting/Journal: 0

June total: 1,884 words.

July 2017

Articles: 1 (661 words)
Blogging: 1 (581 words)
Borderland script: 0
Reviews: 0
RPG: 0
Short Fiction/ Poetry: 0
Prewriting/Journal: 0

July total: 1,242 words.

August 2017

Articles: 0
Blogging: 0
Borderland script: 0
Reviews: 0
RPG: 0
Short Fiction/ Poetry: 0
Prewriting/Journal: 0

August total: 0 words.

September 2017

Articles: 0
Blogging: 0
Borderland script: 0
Reviews: 0
RPG: 0
Short Fiction/ Poetry: 0
Prewriting/Journal: 0

September total: 0 words.

October 2017

Articles: 0
Blogging: 0
Borderland script: 0
Reviews: 1 (228 words)
RPG: 0
Short Fiction/ Poetry: 0
Prewriting/Journal: early October-October 31st (25,615 words)

October total: 25,843 words.

November 2017

Articles: 0
Blogging: 0
Borderland script: 0
Reviews: 1 (253 words)
RPG: 0
Short Fiction/ Poetry: 0
Prewriting/Journal: November 1st-November 13th (11,222 words)

November total: 11,475 words.

December 2017

Articles: 2 (3,639 words)
Blogging: 0
Borderland script: 0
Reviews: 1 (183 words)
RPG: 0
Short Fiction/ Poetry: 0
Prewriting/Journal: 0

December total: 3,822 words.

2017 End-of-year Summary

I actually came pretty close to guessing what my output for (1) article writing in 2017 would be and ended up writing 4,300 words, instead of 3,000, meaning that I hit this particular goal by 143%, which I’m quite pleased with.

As far as (2) blogging goes, I completely overshot my estimate of 16,000 words, hitting slightly under that at 7,881, so this goal was only 49% completed. Looking ahead to 2018, I need to reevaluate how much of a blogging presence I want and to what end.

The (3) Borderland script and the (5) RPG-related writing were a complete wash. I never made them a priority so it didn’t happen. Lesson learned. I did slightly better with the (6) short fiction and poetry, although I was only 5% of that goal completed, at least I wrote something towards it (a single poem earlier in the year).

When it came to (4) writing book reviews, I ended up not requesting as many books as I thought I would in 2017, so the numbers were lower than anticipated. I only wrote 1,319 of my estimated 1,500 words, and met 88% of my overall goal.

Lastly, in the fall, when I began documenting my prewriting and journaling, and trying to make that into a regular habit, while I didn’t meet my goal, I did end up writing 36,837 words, or roughly 70% of my overall goal for that category. It’s worth noting that this number by far dwarfed all of the other months and categories combined.

End of 2017 total: 50,624 words.

Bluntly, then, what went wrong?

The short and the not-so-sweet of it is, I stopped writing. We spent the better part of the spring preparing the house for sale and we moved in May/June. In June, there was a slight blip of writing on the radar, not enough to call it a resurgence, but I gained a little energy from volunteering at a writing conference, but not enough to last me for the remainder of the summer.

I also made a decision mid-way through summer to end one of my favorite hobbies, playing online RPGs, which grossly affected my overall morale, but did free up my time (in theory anyway) to pursue other activities, like writing.

It wasn’t until October that I really began trying to make a practice of writing on a daily basis, and based on the numbers, it really salvaged the year. From early October when I started, to November 13th, when I stopped, I got a lot of writing done, even if it was just brainstorming and world-building. What happened after November 13th?

Hard drive failure.

My computer was sent for repairs for over two weeks and by the time it came back…the holiday season had sprung so I was slow in restoring backups and getting the computer back to the way it was pre-HD failure, let alone making any new progress.

I’ve also come to no conclusions over the past year as to what God’s plan (if any) for my writing is and whether this is an exercise in futility, or merely, another mountain to scale. Prayers appreciated as I try to continue to discern what God’s will is. The last thing that I want to do is ever be out of that divine Will, but, I refuse to believe that a good God would waste all of these years invested in writing, and for naught. Not when it is clear that it is a gift, maybe my strongest gift. I just haven’t found the right use for it yet.

Prayers in 2018.

Direction in 2018.

Hope in 2018.

Thank you for reading this far, and may God bless you in this bright New Year.

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