Yesterday, I hit another writing milestone. I wrote about 1,100 words on the novel draft yesterday. That’s par for the course of the last month. But with the writing done for the day, it meant that I have now written for 700 consecutive days.
I remember when I hit 100 consecutive days and thought that was pretty amazing, and that it seemed a huge uphill climb to make it another 265 days beyond that to get to a full year of writing. Today, I am 30 days away from 2 consecutive years of writing. The writing has become so ingrained in my daily life that it is almost like breathing.
In the course of those 700 days I’ve managed to write 612,185 words, mostly fiction. During that time I’ve published 14 pieces, 4 of which are fiction, and 10 of which are nonfiction. The fact that I have published more nonfiction and written more fiction is simple enough to explain. Nonfiction comes much more easily to me, while fiction takes practice and goes through many drafts. Many drafts means accumulating word counts. Also, I have written 2 novel drafts in those 700 days, and two novella drafts. Both of which, counting the restarts and rewrites, add up to a lot of words.
It doesn’t bother me because I think of all writing as practice. I like to think that the more I do it, the better I get at it.
All of this writing takes place in less than an hour each day. In fact, on average over the course of 700 days, I’ve written 875 words/day. And according to RescueTime, which automatically captures how much time I spend writing each day, I’ve spent, on average, about 38 minutes per day writing. Add that up, and over the course of 700 days, I’ve spent 443 hours writing. If that sounds like a lot, compare it to how much time I’ve spent at the day job over the same period–roughly 4,320 hours. That’s nearly 10 times what I’ve spent writing. Put another way, or every hour I spend on the day job, I devote 6 minutes to writing.
I have picked up the pace over the last month, as I push forward in earnest on this novel draft. In the last 30 days along I’ve written over 31,000 words, and I expect that trend to continue.
Questions and answers
I do get questions from time-to-time about the streak, or about how I find the time to write, or how I organize my writing, what tools I use, or whatever you can think of, I’m going to suggest that if anyone has questions about this stuff, drop them the comments below, and I will do my best to answer to them.
Maybe the planner/plotter idea again, but how do you end and begin each period? Are you stopping mid action to have something the next day? Finish a scene?
Mike, it varies from day-to-day as you might imagine. I rarely do anything beforehand. I sit down, open the document, and begin typing. The quicker I can start, the more I can get in. It took some practice to get to that point, but I generally have no problem starting cold. I used to try and get in a complete scene, if I had the time. Over the last two years, I’ve found that I need to do that less and less. While I generally don’t stop mid-action–I’ll keep going if I can–I will stop if I’ve already written a decent amount, and I will try to stop at a point from which I am excited to continue. That makes starting up the next day easier.
Sometimes, I’ll add a comment to the last sentence I wrote with some thoughts on how things will continue the next day. That also helps me jump-start. I don’t do that too often, maybe one out of every ten days.
Wow! This is pretty awesome Jamie. Keep up the good work.
Very Interesting! Thanks for the blogs!!
That’s a great idea. I am now in the habit of not writing, but trying to start up again. There’s nothing like a little competition with myself to get me doing what I know I already should. I’m going to look into this program.