Year of Writing: 2013

Did I meet my goals?

The numbers are in, the auditors have confirmed them, and the stats have been crunched. I gave myself goals that seemed achievable but tough, based on my NaNoWriMo experience in 2012.

Let’s go to the stats and see how things turned out:

Goals and results:

  1. 1. Self-publish first Kagent novel. Result: no, but almost (probably coming out soon)
  2. 2. Plan out writing before doing it. Result: fail (but no-plan writing kind of worked for me)
  3. Write 300,000 words (about three novels). Result: 320,177 words (daily average: 877)
  4. 3a. Don’t miss a day of writing. Result: achieved
  5. Read a mix of novels. Result: achieved
  6.  Get enough sleep. Result: unknown

I could go into monthly stats, the high and low points and, you know, what I was writing. But I’ll save that for another day.

How did I do it?

Four days a week I have a built-in writing time by riding a commuter bus. Lunch breaks on the fifth day took care of that day. The Lair getting redone (on the cheap) this year turned it into a decent workspace for me to write in peace, quiet, and standing up. But that’s all circumstances.

It was the tyranny of the word count spreadsheet.

I had a row for every day of the year and every day, I copied the formulas for the previous day and watched as the spreadsheet counted the day with a big fat zero, driving down averages and breaking the streak. And so I wrote to replace that zero, and then to up the word count.

The spreadsheet evolved over the year, becoming more sophisticated with monthly averages, to-hit estimates, year-end estimates of the writing total, etc.

Is any of this writing any good?

I’ll find out this year when I try to edit it. My initial feeling is that yes, most of it is good. I had a short story blossom into a novel that I didn’t expect.

What did I learn?

I can produce over 300,000 words (3 novels) per year. Not counting rewriting, research, etc., just new words of fiction. It’s a heck of a streak that I don’t want to break. I’m also learning about the production and publishing of a novel and the timetables involved.

Overall, I learned that my production plans have a decent chance of holding up in 2014 and later. 2013 served as a writing production test and I passed it.

What’s scheduled for 2014?

I’ll answer that later.

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