Writing numbers for 2010

January 2, 2011

A couple of years ago, I discovered the benefits of keeping a writing log. I’m working on writing a book, and so often, I would get discouraged about my progress. I decided to keep a writing log and it truly revolutionized the way I work and it inspires me to keep going.

You see, with a writing log, I merely keep track of my activities of the day. If I spend 4 hours and only write 1 page, then that’s OK. I write it down.  Although I do keep track of my time, more for just general basic recordkeeping purposes (taxes, etc.), the real heart and purpose of the writing log is keeping track of what I actually do, my “production.”

So, for example, it might look something like this:

12/13/2010   Edited 4 pages.

12/14/2010   Edited 7 pages, wrote 1 page.

12/27/2010  Wrote 1 page.

And so on.

The miraculous thing to me is that when I tally these up at the end of every month, I am absolutely astonished at what I have been able to accomplish.  In the daily grind, I often feel like I am hardly doing anything. It is easy for me to get discouraged.  But then at the end of the month, I find out just how much all of those – 1-page-days add up. It’s remarkable.

Then, when I do my year-end numbers, it is truly phenominal. Keep in mind, I am only a “part -time” writer – it is not by any means my full time occupation. I do this as I have time, but I also deliberately make time for it and remain committed to it. I have even sacrificed time with family and friends to do so. So I am quite serious about it.  But check these numbers out!

GRAND TOTALS FOR THE ENTIRE YEAR OF 2010:

Edited: 452 pages

Hand-edited: 494 pages

Wrote: 57 pages

Read: 445 pages

Whoa!!  Now keep in mind that those 400+ numbers mostly represent multiple times-through something. Meaning I may edit the same page or chapter 2 or 3 times, not just one go-round.

Still, it totally astonishes me that I managed to accomplish this much in the past year.  It tells me that “I can do it” (see it through to completion); it tells me that even though I had hoped to finish my book by the end of 2010, and I’m disappointed that I did not, I can still point to these numbers and say that I really did work on it hard in the past year, and if I didn’t finish it up, it wasn’t for lack of trying.  It just wasn’t finished, is all.

I highly recommend the practice of keeping a writer’s log, especially if you are working on a longer work and sometimes feel overwhelmed or discouraged. This practice has helped me a lot.

© 2011, writingreading

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Word of the Year (2011) – Real

January 1, 2011

I still feel a little uncertain about this, but this year (2011), I’m choosing “real” as my word of the year.

I want my dream of writing a book to become real this year. Well – correction — I’m already writing it.  So it is becoming real. But I want to get done with it. Submit it to the publisher. Make it move from manuscript to finished “reality” – a published book.

I also realize I need to do a little “getting real” with myself, too. Real-ly- what do I want out of life, myself, my career, my  geographic location, the place I call home? Where is “home”, real-ly, for me? What do I want to become real in my life in the coming year?

What is the real issue(s) between myself and my family member(s) that makes in-person communication so painful? What is really behind all of my anger, which seems increasingly manifesting itself in my life, even when I try to put reins on it and bring it under my control, like a startled and panicky horse. I thought I’d gotten past the point of being an angry temperamental child decades ago. Apparently not.

The promising starts I made on some new efforts this past fall – will they become real, too? It’s hard to know, very ethereal by nature – but I suppose I will “know them when I see them.”

And now, let me look briefly back. My words last  year were:

Persistence and Patience

Both of them I chose mostly as they related to my book. Well, the book is still in progress, though I’m much much further along now than when I posted on New Year’s of 2010. My persistence has definitely paid off, because I really am very close to nearly finishing up my manuscript.

Patience….well, I always need help with patience. It is just not in my nature to be patient. I noticed this with family over the holidays. Not pretty.  But I am trying to be patient with myself as I continue working on my book.  And having faith that I will be able to see it through to completion. I want to make it REAL. I believe it will be, very soon, in 2011.

© 2011, writingreading