Writing Stats for July 2014

Is July already over? I ended July with almost exactly 27,000 words written, not as good as June, but altogether respectable. It also brings my total word count for the year-to-day to 190,000 words, not counting blogging.

With more nonfiction freelance work, I modified my Google Doc Writing Tracker to split my daily word counts into fiction and nonfiction. I didn’t start this until very late in July, so I don’t have a lot of useful data. But next month, I should be able to report on the actual breakdown. I’ve also automated capturing the time I spent doing my writing, taking advantage of the RescueTime API for that. Again, I didn’t start capturing this until late in July so August’s data should be much more interesting.

Normally, I’d post a chart showing my writing for the month, but thanks to the work I’ve done on my experimental analytics site, open.jamierubin.net, you can see live data of my writing for the month of July by heading over there. You can also see my writing since the beginning of the year. The site is growing increasingly interactive, and there should be some improvements to the look and feel in the coming weeks, but for now, I’m just glad I’ve automated the data reporting. It means I have more time to spent on the actual writing.

During July, I had two items published:

  1. The FitBit for Your Car,” The Daily Beast (July 8)
  2. Self-Tracking for N00Bz,” The Daily Beast (July 24)

I expect to see at least three things published in August, and of course, I’ll let you know when they are available.


  1. Hi and thanks for your great blog, which I’ve only just found.

    I discovered it via the Daily Beast article from June, which had a great graphic showing your daily progress as, essentially, a stacked bar chart showing daily values from different activities (each indicated in different colors).

    I can’t make the move from Microsoft Word to Google Docs, and therefore can’t go whole hog with the Google Docs setup you’ve created. I’ve created my own Excel sheet, and am entering time, writing activities, and words written, and have managed to create tables that display time spent per day on writing, as a stacked bar chart. However, I can’t figure out how to mimic the way that your chart uses individual squares for each unit of time worked. Can you explain?


    1. That chart was a highly customized job. Originally, I did it manually, and then wrote some script to automate most (but not all) of it. The sizing of the squares are easy. What’s tricky is determining how tall the chart needs to be. You need to read-ahead in the data to find the day with the most writing and base it on that. I wrote a custom logger that logged some estimates of changes each day so that I could color code boxes based on that day’s log entry for how many words changed, from the previous day, as opposed to how many were added. There is probably a much more efficient way to tackle both problems (modulus math would take care of the y-axis, for instance), but I was just trying to produce something interesting for myself at the time. Recently, I’ve been working on making my real-time writing data available, over at open.jamierubin.net. While it is evolving every day, this one is much more standardized that what I tried to do in the chart in the Daily Beast article. This one uses the Google Chart API, and JavaScript, pulling data directly from the source spreadsheet on Google Drive. No tweaking. I just go to the site and the data is there.


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