Writing Year In Review: 2021

Number of Writing Weeks: 33 out of 52

Total Word Count: 41,896 words out of a goal of 48,000

Average Word Count Per Week: 806

% of Annual Word Count Goal: 87%

Other Stats: 75 Writing Days

Who’s sad to be looking at 2021 through the rear-view mirror? Anyone? Hey, it’s okay. I certainly understand. 2021: well… it was a year wasn’t it? We can all breathe a sigh of relief now that that’s over.

Honestly, though, in spite of everything: the ongoing global pandemic, my own (thankfully unrelated) ever-present health problems, family and work commitments, and spending an inordinate amount of time with other, non-writing-related hobbies/obsessions, I have to look back at 2021 with a certain sense of satisfaction.

Did I hit my, frankly, modest goal for the year? No. No I did not. But I got kind of close. And realistically, it was the third-best year of writing productivity that I’ve had since I started tracking my writing back in 2012. It’s not where I’d need to be if I want to make it into the professional leagues, no. But it shows that in spite of everything I’ve struggled with, it’s within my grasp to make this push, if I just focus.

Which is why 2022 is going to be my year. I went into 2021 with what I knew was an achievable goal: I’d just done even more than 48,000 words in a single year’s worth of writing already. And despite falling short this year, I’m getting ready to really stretch my ambitions. But I’m re-framing my goal, this year. I won’t be setting a goal in terms of number of words on the page.

You’ll notice in my other stats this year that I actually sat down and wrote fiction on just seventy-five days out of the year in 2021. That means on average I physically put my hands on the keyboard and strung words together a little over once a week (not counting any blogging time). Some weeks I wrote two or three times in a single week. Many weeks I wrote none at all. At the end of the day, though: that’s a poor enough result for someone who aspires to be a professional author. I need to do better.

That’s why, in 2022, I’m setting a goal for the total number of times I will actually sit down and write – in any amount of words. And what is that goal? 120 days of writing productivity, in total. Broken down into weekly chunks that comes to just over two writing sessions per week. But I’m planning on giving myself some padding, and building in free weeks (because some weeks I definitely will not be writing coughhellovacationcough). I’m framing the goal as 3 writing days per week, every week, for 40 weeks in the year. That gives me 12 free weeks.

The way I see it, I can generally put down probably about 500 words per hour, if I’m prepped and ready and in the right headspace to write. If a writing session lasts, on average, maybe about an hour or so, then 120 days of writing in 2022 would translate to approximately 60,000 words of new fiction. It’s a stretch for me. I’ve never written that much in a single year. I’ve never had the stamina, the dedication, the consistency, or, frankly, consistently cooperative and fair health to make that achievable. But I’m going to do it. I’ve got to do it. One-hundred-twenty days of writing. I’ve got this.

Are you ready 2022? I’m about to grab you by the horns and take you down. And when I’m done with you, “The Book of M” is probably going to pass the 200,000-word mark, and be looking pretty good for me to write the words “The End” sometime hopefully in 2023!

So that’s the goal. But I’m going to need help to get there. Including regular accountability. I’ve been struggling to maintain this blog on a monthly cadence. But I’ve also got to do better with that. So here’s the blog plan. I want to really stretch here. I want to report on my writing goal on a semi-weekly basis. I’m going to aim to update you all – that’s right, all 1.25 of you – at least once every two weeks with my current progress toward my 120-day goal.

Who’s with me? Who’s excited to see me draw incrementally closer to crossing the finish line on “The Book of M”? Okay, let’s be real, probably not the 1.25 of you who accidentally stumbled on this blog while googling something completely unrelated, but this guy? I am so on this!

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