Saturday, February 22, 2014

Writing Every Day Revisited

Topic Re-Write: also known as, me revisiting the concept of writing every day

In fact, the first blog post I ever wrote for this blog, back on May 1, 2009, was about the concept of writing every day. The blog post is here: And really, I wasn't a fan back then. Though also at that point, 2008 was my first and only success at getting 50,000 words in a month and it was the longest thing I'd written. I hadn't finished much else and I still wrote poetry. So yeah. And I only did a few attempts at picture books that week cause I'm not really a children's book writer.

I talked again about the topic, more with questioning it in August of 2009.  And in that one I was less into the idea of writing every day even more. But that was also the last time I really focused on the topic, so all the way back in 2009.

We're in 2014 now. After almost 5 years, has my opinion changed? Some.

I still don't think it's necessary to write every single day of the year. It's okay to take breaks and it's okay to have other priorities. I still think that treating writing as a job is a good idea, but it can be a part time job or even a full time job, but even with full time jobs people take days off. And I still agree that what you need to do is find out what works best for you. However, I am now more capable of writing almost every day.

What has changed? Well, I've spent 2009-now often writing. Back then, the longest thing I'd written was 50,000 words of a struggled romance/erotica attempt. I had written a number of little scenes and poems but not much in the way of long fiction. Now, my longest draft is at around 170,000 words (it's almost done, really, I promise) and I've gotten at least 3 novel first drafts done, rewritten a novel and tackled editing. Been a long 5 years (someone remind me to do a 5 year reflection post for May 1) which didn't always include writing. I had months where I wrote not much at all, but it all adds up over time whether it's 250 words a day consistently or binges of 5k a day and some with 0.

Last year, I started the year saying I wanted to see how much I wrote in a year and that lasted a couple weeks max. This year, I'm trying again but I have a different approach. Thanks to a friend who had access to a shared spreadsheet, I have an easier way to keep track on google docs, so every day I write, I add my total words for that day onto the spreadsheet and it adds it all up. It's not the excitement of the "magic spreadsheet" as discussed on I Should Be Writing because there are no levels or points but there are colors. And more words mean different shades so that is kind of fun.

This month, I've written at least 250 words every day and plan to for the whole month. Even if it's just 250 on some days that is okay. I started part way in January with the spreadsheet and have gotten to almost 40,000 words for the year already. Off to a good start and while I won't write every single day of the year (already missed a couple in January), I will write very many days. And some months, it just might be every day.

How often do you write?
Do you keep track? If so, how?