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A Year in Writing

Well… It’s the new year and time to go over my stats for writing, as I have for the last four years. And boy is it an eye opener.

yearly-writingFirst, I wrote 20,000 words less than last year. Admittedly, last year was a fantastic year and I wrote 15k more than any other year. I also lost about 12k just by loosing NaNoWriMo this year. I took another huge dip around the time I switched jobs. Clearly major changes have made huge differences in my writing.

But all these numbers forced me to go back and really look at what I’ve accomplished over the last four years, not just in amount of words written, but what I’ve published.

I started publishing in 2012 with three short stories and a novella. Not bad for my first year. 2013 followed with 16 short stories, a novella, and a short novel. 2014 saw a single publication, and a short story at that. I had to go back to my stats for that year and find out if that was true. After two years of writing, and publishing tons of short stories suddenly…NOTHING! But there was a reason behind it. In 2014 I published one short story, and I wrote the majority of the three Witch’s Trilogy novels.

In 2015 I started actually publishing the Witch’s Trilogy. Two novels, and one little short story.

yearly-writing2And 2016, the year that we just finished? I finished the Witch’s trilogy, publishing Witch’s Stand in April, then added a short story prequel in May. I also published two more short stories in my Illicit Gain’s series (Mirror and Scarab Necklace) bringing the total to three short stories and a novel for 2016. What else did I do for 2016? I started on my next novel series. Of the 230k words I wrote this year the majority of them went to “Half-Blood Sorceress”.

When I first saw that list of publications, and how many of them happened in 2013 I was a little shocked. Then I remembered that a lot of the short stories I finished, and published, for that year were already half finished when I started writing them. That while it was a big publishing year it wasn’t a big writing year, I was just finishing words of half completed projects, not taking on as many new challenges.

Even though 2016 saw less writing over all, it was still a productive year. I completed the trilogy, found a new job, and started on a new series that I have already put down 78,400 words in just a few months.

I’m working to get the first two published in 2017. I do not know if that is possible because of editing and cover design, but at the very least they will be written. But since I’m focusing on Half-Blood Sorceress it means I might not publish anything else this year, just like 2014. And I think I’m okay with that.

The Witch’s Trilogy is good because I took the time I needed to write the books. I didn’t rush it, and I’m not going to rush Half-Blood Sorceress either. I want the series to be good, and go on. I have five books planned, after all, and I want to finish all of them.

Learning to write faster was a great help in 2015. It pushed me through, got Witch’s Trilogy finished, and helped me complete something. I need to find that fire again. That’s what I’ll be working on for 2017. Writing, finding the passion for the writing, and making it the priority again.

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Posted by on January 2, 2017 in On Writing

 

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Numbers

This is a data post. Some of you have found the numbers interesting. For me the numbers are more about accountability to myself. If I’m doing better than last year I am hopeful. If not then I think I need to get my butt in gear and work harder.

graphSo here is the graph of each month for the last four years.

So far, this year, I have written 131k. May and June were my best months so far. That’s because I started writing The Half Blood Sorceress novels in May. Every time I start a new story, especially a series like this, the words just flow so fast and so free that I end up with three thousand words in less then a couple hours. I love it! That is always my favorite part of writing, the first bloom of an idea.

June was the month I had in between jobs where all I did was write, so of course I wrote a lot that month. A little bit less than May, which I was surprised about. Still, I wrote more in May and June than any other month except NaNoWriMo.

Then July I started the new job and my writing tanked. Not entirely surprising. I was physically and emotionally exhausted for the first few weeks of training. Then I started easing into the new job and had to figure out scheduling. Now I’m back into the swing of things with writing and balancing everything else and….my schedule is changing this weekend.

I’ve got a month and a half to figure out how to balance my schedule and writing with the rest of my life before this years NaNoWriMo. I really don’t want this to be the first year I fail NaNo in five years. I haven’t even figured out which project to write for this years NaNo. Will I do book two and three of The Half Blood Sorceress, or will I do a few more books in The Eternal Tapestry?

On average, after all of this, I wrote about 5-600 words a day. Not a lot in the grand scheme of things, but enough to chip away at the next series and get them ready for publishing.
As for the Bradbury Challenge which I started at the beginning of the year…I’ve completed ten short stories this year. That’s a little more than one short story a month. The trouble with short stories I’ve found is I keep getting shiny new object syndrome. I start working on a short story, then loose interest and go onto the next one. I have quite a number of short stories started but never completed, and a couple that I completed but decided to completely rewrite because they were terrible. But that doesn’t stop Shiny Syndrome from happening.

I love all the stories I come up with, even though I can see that a lot of them are terrible ideas. The terrible ones usually sit in an unaccessed file waiting for a day when they might jump-start a new idea. But then there are all of the stories that are good, publishable stories that I want to put out there some day, but fail to complete for whatever reason. I think I need to find a way to conquer my Shiny Syndrome in order to do that.

Worse, I have a lot of novels also slowly being worked on. Several of them are over 10k words. I have over 740k words written, and only 360k published. That’s a huge gap of incomplete works that I need to finish.

So….the next month and a half will go to figuring out my schedule, and hopefully finishing some of these short stories. NoNoWriMo is going to completing a novel or two in either the Eternal Tapestry world, or the Half Blood Sorceress series. Either way it’s 50k words into a new series and that will help me get the novels finished, and published, in the coming year.

I’ve got a long way to go, and I want to get back to writing 2k a day so that I can eventually get all the stories out of my head and onto the page. Of course then I’ll just have to dream up some new stories, won’t I?

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2016 in Personal Notes

 

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What a week

My new job started this week. It’s been a lot of fun. We’re just doing training right now, but it’s been a blast. There are 18 people in the class, with the trainer, and a couple of people that come in and out to help depending on the needs. We do a lot of discussions, drawing graphs and pictures, and just lots of learning. Everyone is so nice, and happy. Even the couple of people who are going through some tough times right now, they are still smiles while in class.

It feels good to be somewhere with lots of people who are just friendly. I’m sure eventually I’ll come across someone who isn’t so nice, but, ya know what, I’m just going to enjoy things as they are.

The writing… that’s another story. I’ve write 1400 words since starting the new job, which isn’t a lot. The first few days were spent adjusting to schedules, and sleeping because it was so emotionally and mentally draining. (Friday was also kind of draining. It was the first time on the phones, and really scary at first.) I also have to commute a bit farther (20 miles instead of two blocks, lol) but it’s really not that bad. By end of the week I started getting to where I was looking forward to an hour of writing in the evening.

I want to have an hour before work, and at least an hour in the evening, where I write. I think I can start training myself to do that. The morning session is the harder part, I have always had trouble writing in the morning. But I’m going to need to be able to do this in order to keep up my output.

I think this is going to work. Writing and having a full time job, saving money so that I can eventually have a house… yep, I’m on my way.

 
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Posted by on July 3, 2016 in Updates

 

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Day 5- Full Time Author

Today has been one of those days where writing… it just wasn’t going to happen. You sit down to the computer and either children keep bothering you, or you just can’t seem to find words, but it doesn’t really matter. Writing isn’t going to happen. (And yet, even on a bad day I wrote 400 words. It’s not all bad, right?)

So I did a bunch of the little things that needed to be done. Covers, formatting, uploading, and the “stuff” that goes along with writing. Productive, even if I didn’t finish another chapter in my novel. There’s always tomorrow, right?

I also sent “Minotaur” out to my mailing list today. A good scene, I think, that struck a little closer to home with me than usual.

All right, I’m going to go crawl into bed with my kindle now… Good night all!

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2016 in On Writing

 

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Averaging it out

I haven’t shown my word counts in a while, so I thought it was about time. It’s July, after all, so I’ve got more than half a year behind me and a great amount of data to show improvements.

wordcounts

First, I am comparing similar data sets from last year and this year. (Jan 1st to July 5th.)

I had the same amount of “Zero Word Count” days in both years. This year I had whooping cough which lasted a month and kept me from writing much. Last year I had family issues that had to be dealt with before I could write, along with the normal days of laziness, or just busy with other things.

The average has gone up. 560 for last year, 615 for this year. I always write more in the second half of the year, and NaNoWriMo is coming up, for which I have another book already outlined. It will be interesting to see how the numbers shift, and if I can finally get my average per day up over 1000 by October. If I can then NaNoWriMo won’t be so exhausting.

The biggest difference this year is I haven’t had any 3000+ word days yet. Last year I only had two, but one of them was on this chart. That drove up the average quite a bit. I think the only think keeping my average up this year is having fewer days with very low (under 200) word counts. Plotting a little more when I get stuck is helping.

I’m hoping to continue the trend of working more and more till I can put out three books a year. That seems like a reasonable amount.

 

 

 
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Posted by on July 6, 2015 in On Writing

 

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