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Worlds Of Lesbian Fiction

News Archive for January 2019

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Writing Stats For 2018

Written by Kodi Wolf at 12:00 AM

2018 was a bitch and a half, but it was also pretty amazing.

I ended up with one illness after another, but my wife and I also bought our first house, and I hit most of my writing goals, so... Yeah. There's my life in a nutshell. And suddenly I'm hearing The Facts of Life theme song in my head. "You take the good, you take the bad..." Anyway. :)

Here are my stats for 2018.

Writing Stats for 2018
  Words/Month Daily Average Highest Day Lowest Day Hours/Month Words/Hour
Jan 22,593 729 2,593 80 47h 52m 472
Feb 16,149 577 1,753 135 30h 37m 527
Mar 23,386 754 2,148 82 34h 16m 682
Apr 24,074 802 3,177 124 42h 16m 570
May 33,030 1,065 7,504 247 47h 0m 703
Jun 17,405 580 4,268 94 33h 26m 521
Jul 18,588 600 2,634 51 29h 40m 627
Aug 21,603 697 2,443 70 27h 26m 787
Sep 40,161 1,339 7,270 160 59h 37m 674
Oct 16,709 539 4,171 125 21h 25m 780
Nov 16,611 554 2,379 87 22h 16m 746
Dec 25,714 829 3,785 77 52h 43m 488
Writing Totals & Averages for 2018
Total Words 276,023
Monthly Average 23,002
Daily Average 756
Total Hours 448h 34m
Average Words/Hour 615

Compared to last year, my monthly average only went down about 1,400 words, but my total hours spent writing was nearly cut in half while my average words per hour just about doubled. So even though I wrote about 16,000 words less overall, I wrote them much faster. I think that's a pretty solid win.

Beyond the stats, I had five goals for my writing in 2018. The first two were the bare minimum I wanted to achieve for the year, while the other three were for bonus points.

  • I wanted to maintain a daily average of at least 500 words. (Done - see above)
  • I wanted to keep my streak going and write every day. (Done - 1,103 days, including today)
  • I wanted to post new story chapters. (Done - posted over 50,000 words on A Bondage Primer)
  • I wanted to hit a total of a quarter million (250,000) words for the year, which is an average of 685 words per day. (Done - see above)
  • I wanted to finish Lights of Life. (Not even close)

I'm trying to cut myself some slack on that last one, though.

I haven't finished writing Lights, but I did finish the outline, which means I finally have an ending. The vague idea I had before never made me happy, but this one does (so much so that I reread the outline about once a month just to remind myself that it's there and waiting for me when I'm finally able to focus on it again).

In writing the outline and reading a few how-to articles on writing, I realized part of my trouble has been that Lights is really two stories in one. I think some people might even recommend I split them up into two separate books, but I really see them as one long epic story with two distinct parts. (Depending on the final length, I may have to split them up to publish in paperback format, but I hope not.)

The first half is a love story. It's where Jess and Kaylee meet and fall in love. Then the second half kicks in and it becomes a war story and you get to watch their love get tested to the breaking point, only to become stronger because of it, and it's their love that ultimately saves the day.

Once I figured all that out, I was able to write what I think is a much better beginning for the story that helps meld the two halves into one cohesive whole.

So now I'm trying to figure out what I want to do in 2019.

I've realized that one of the things that's been holding me back in my writing (other than health stuff) is sort of a mental block I have.

Part of the way I've been maintaining my focus on my writing is by measuring my progress, which has been solely focused on my word count. Even if I only write 50 words, I feel like I can count that as long as it's something new.

Because of that, there have been a lot of times where I've kind of thrown up my hands and just brainstormed a new scene for A Bondage Primer because I know I can get a couple hundred words in 10-15 minutes, and then I can call it quits so I can either try to rest or put my energy towards fixing up the house so we can move in.

Doing that is a lot easier than spending hours trying to organize my notes without actually adding anything to them (meaning 0 word count) or trying to take my outlines and turn them into scenes.

Let me explain the second one a little more. A lot of my outlines include narrated conversations, such as "Jess said such and such. Then Kaylee pointed out that..." It's relatively easy for me to rewrite that by cutting out the narration and just adding quotes to the dialogue after I change the tenses. Once I add dialogue beats, it ends up being a fairly complete scene that should only require minimal rewrites, if any.

However, I end up spending a lot of time counting how many words I've cut in order to keep an accurate record of my word count. I start with a base word count, then add up the words I've cut, subtract them from the starting count, then when I enter the final count into my spreadsheet, it shows how many words I've added and that's my word count for the day.

I know this probably sounds silly. I should be happy just to track my time and have a mostly final scene when I'm done, but I've gotten very attached to my word count. I'm worried that at the end of the month, if I see zero words, I'm going to feel like I'm failing even though I've worked for 40 hours and have 5 new chapters done.

I also don't think I can just shift my emphasis to the time I'm putting in. I don't want that to be the goal post because if I can't put in a lot of time, either because of my health or life stuff, I'm going to get down on myself, and that's not good. I also don't want to feel like I have to take time away from my wife in order to achieve my writing goals.

So I need to figure out how to make myself feel like I'm still achieving my goals even if I don't have the word count to show for it.

Unfortunately, I have no idea how to do that.

[...thinking...]

Okay, so I just had a thought. What if I keep track of the finished scenes/chapters and count those up at the end of the day/month? It won't necessarily be 'new' words, but it will definitely show my progress as I take outlined content and turn it into finished content.

That will also be highly motivating for me to work on Lights because I already have the whole story outlined (and ABP, since I have a ton of scenes outlined). I know it'll sort of be like I'm getting words for free, but knowing I've gotten 15,000 words of story completed (rather than newly written) will be a really good benchmark.

All right. I'm going to try it. And if I don't like it (or if it feels too much like lying), I can always change my mind and try something else.

Here's to writing and finishing more new content in 2019.