January 2011 – A good start

Today being the last day of the month I decided to go back and look it over to see what I’d accomplished.

Over-all, I’m very happy with myself.

Out of thirty-one days I had clocked twenty-six days where I did some kind of writing, whether it was blogging here or at MorningCrazy.com or working on fiction; more often than not it was a mixture of the two although there were more days with just writing than those days just blogging. In that time, as of last night, I wrote forty-three thousand, eight hundred (43,800) words. This averages out to ~1,412 words a night. To put it in perspective, the month I usually write the most in is November due to NaNoWriMo. Not including this blog post, my last blog post where I wrapped up last week, or my writing tonight, I managed to almost write just as many words as I did last November with four fewer days (essentially; January having 31 days, November having 30, I won’t count one of the five days I didn’t write). So, if I had sat down and put any words down on “paper” on any of those missing nights, I would’ve done better this month than I had on any other period of solid, straight writing in my life.

I can’t tell you how good that feels.

Also consider last year. Last year I did approximately 111,350 first draft words. I count first draft words because my stories typically end up longer in their first draft forms and I cut them down, sometimes significantly, so counting the words in the first draft is a much more accurate idea of my daily writing. Of course that doesn’t track words I put in after I’ve taken words out but I think those are going to be a fraction of what I do in the rough draft and I’m not going to worry about them so much.

So, comparing the two, at the end of January I’ve already done, not including these two blog posts or anything I can get done tonight, 42% of last years total word count. In the first month of the year.

I think that’s a pretty good start. *grin*

One thing that made a big difference is that I’ve drastically scaled back my video game playing in general (I haven’t stopped completely, mostly because I don’t think I’ll ever really be able to) and I’m also staying up later and getting less sleep. I just haven’t had the interest to play WoW as much as I used to. Honestly, from a story point of view, my character’s goal was always to kill Arthas and I did. Once I did that my interest in the game dropped drastically. I still have my account, I still sign on for about an hour or so a week and my character just hit 85 but, really, compared to this time last year when I was raiding all night twice weekly and playing at least an hour or two on the nights I wasn’t raiding and that weren’t Monday or Friday (night’s Michelle claimed for herself)? An hour or two a week is a HUGE difference. I’m still playing SCII but even that doesn’t take up nearly as much time as I spent raiding.

Now, let’s consider the goals I set for myself at the beginning of this year:
1. First goal was one story written and fully edited, push was two written. I wrote three shorts this month although none of them are edited (which I blame in part on the fact that my editor was busy with the much more important task of being pregnant and, more recently, giving birth and the fact that I much prefer writing to editing my own stuff so I didn’t).
2. I did do several rounds of submissions, sending both “Sacrament”, “Coal Dust”, and “1666” out. All were rejected by the places I sent them to, I’m waiting to hear back from the last place I sent “Coal Dust”, but I did meet this goal mostly. I have one short, the sailor story, that is edited that I forgot to send out. I need to do better on this next month.
3. The goal of fifteen hundred a day in the novel and five hundred in a short, despite the number of words I wrote this month, I did not accomplish. Most nights, if I did any writing on BW at all, I did about 1k on it. I started trying to step it up this last week and managed a few nights where I wrote over a thousand words, but it still wasn’t a success. I think the reason why I “failed” this goal was, in part, because I really wanted to finish some of the shorts I worked on and so there were some nights I focused exclusively on them.
4. This one I succeeded and technically went a little over on. I finished The Name of the Wind and the Warriors anthology, both of which I reviewed (check the tag for “book reviews”). I’ve also read more in parenting books, I’m 2/3s of the way done with Jay Lake’s Mainspring and I’ve started with God’s War by Kameron Hurly.
5. No sales yet but this wasn’t a monthly goal so I haven’t “failed” it yet.
6. Haven’t applied yet but I’m planning on it.
7. I’m a little less than half of the way done with this goal. I’d like to wrap up BW at around the 100k mark, which I think is a pretty respectable amount and do-able. If I wrote eleven hundred words a night on BW I’d hit it easy if he came on time but I think I’m really going to push for at least 1500 a day on this and do my best to finish it up early.

“That’ll do pig. That’ll do.”

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