What I Did in September by the Numbers

Writing and blogging

September 2013 writing

I wrote a total of just over 31,000 words of fiction in September, down from a rather remarkable 46,000 words in August. I think the big difference was that in August, I was pushing to finish the first draft of my novel while in September I actually finished it.

I averaged just over 1,000 words/day of fiction in September, and I extended my consecutive day writing streak to 71 consecutive days, making it just over halfway to my record of 140 consecutive days, a streak that broke back in July while I was at Launchpad.

I did finish the first draft of my novel. I also wrote the first draft of a new story that came in at 7,800 words, and which I am now working on the second draft (and for which I am trying to cut quite a bit).

On the blogging front, I wrote just about 20,000 words worth of blog posts in September, down from 28,000 words in August. If you combine the writing and the blogging, it makes for a total of 51,000 words in September, which ain’t too shabby if you ask me.


I listened to a total of 51 hours of audiobooks in September, down from 56 hours in August, an way down from more than 120 in my best month back in March. In September I managed to read:

  • Salinger by David Shields and Shane Salerno
  • Way Station by Clifford D. Simak
  • The Best of Connie Willis by Connie Willis
  • The Very Best of Barry N. Malzberg by Barry N. Malzberg
  • The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King
  • Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

Reading has been down in large part because writing has been up significantly. I’d like to read more, but I think I’ve found a pretty good balance at the moment. Doctor Sleep was my 41st book of 2013, which is remarkable for me at the end of September.


I walked 437,00 steps in September, up from 420,000 in August. I’ve been pushing myself a little harder lately. 437,000 steps amounts to about 200 miles worth of walking. Much of the 51 hours of listening to audiobooks took place during those 200 miles of walking.

How was your September?


  1. Wow! I never imagined one can be so analytical about his work. Kudos!

    What methods did you use to calculate that?

  2. Jamie, since your probably short on post ideas and long on time (ha!) I would love to see how you capture the blogging data. Looking at your chart I would have thought blogging and writing were more inversely related.

    1. Mike, actually, I use a set of scripts very similar to the scripts I use for tracking my writing. They work as follows. I write my blog posts as usual. Each night, a script runs that grabs anything new for that day on the RSS feed for my blog, parses the feed and does a word count on the posts that were made “today.” The resulting number gets captured in the same Google spreadsheet as my writing stats, only on a different worksheet.

      I could make this script available on GitHub, but I have hesitated for one reason: depending on your blogging platform and how you’ve configured RSS, the feed for a given blog can be slightly different. My script is tailored to my feed, but that same code might not work on yours, without some tweaking. That tweaking requires a knowledge of (a) using an RSS parser, and (b) understanding the format of your own feed. I didn’t want to put a script out there that would appear not to work for a lot of people simply because the format of their feed was slightly different than mine.

  3. So, you’re saying this isn’t an IFTTT recipe? All kidding aside, I really appreciate the script you’ve made available and understand why this one is a bit more complicated.

    Always enjoy seeing these writing posts.


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