12 January 2010

2009: Last Week's Post

So, here is what I was planning to post about last week: a reflection on all the things I did and learned writing-wise, in preparation for crafting some goals for this year :)

Yes, I know, it's an entire week into January already and I'm only now doing a yearly wrap-up for '09. I'm sure by now you're aware that my sense of time is ... loose O:) So I'm sure we'll all survive :D

Right, bare stats first.

2009 was an incredibly frustrating year for word count in the end, because I ended up with 199,142 words. Yes, a measly words away from 200k!! Argh! Had I realised how close I was I would have written more in the week between Christmas and New Years! *tears* *sniffle*

But, words is nonetheless a pretty shiny wordcount, and it is up 24% from 2008's wordcount, which was 161,207.

Interestingly, my general pattern of monthly wordcounts was pretty similar to 2008. To whit:

Sorry it's a bit hard to read the numbers, but basically, the purple line that bounces along the bottom is 2007, the blue line mostly in the middle is 2008, and the reddish line is 2009. Although the pattern is quite similar, I think there's also significant improvement shown here B-)

At the nitty gritty level, here are some more particular stats:

20,021 - number of words in my best non-nano month
4002 - number of words in my worst month
49 - number of books read (waaay up from previous years, yay!)
31 - number of submissions made
16 - number of projects I worked on that didn't get finished
9 - number of shorts finished
6 - number of stories sold (Yay!)
3 - number of times I wanted to really tear my hair out over writing
2 - number of novels finished
1 - number of plays I wrote that I'll actually admit to >:)

Overall, I think the biggest thing I learned was my theory that I began testing in September. As you can see from the graph, September was my biggest wordcount outside of NaNo. My theory was basically that I needed to put less pressure on myself to write on anything in particular, and just write. It worked really well in Sept/Oct, but then I did NaNo, and of course I wanted to finish that, so there was pressure on myself to concentrate on HNOT... And now it's January 12 and I've written less than 1k all month because I've been stupid and allowed myself to get stuck in the pressure spot again!!

Lesson discovered last year that really needs to be LEARNED this year: CHILL!! :D I'm only about halfway through my million-words-of-fiction, so I have another two or three years before I'm allowed to feel like I'm falling behind the game. If anything happens before that, well, I've done it in less than 10 years/1 million words, so go me! In the meantime, quit beating yourself up, Inky One!


Overall, it really was a productive year. I'm happy with my progress, not only in terms of what I got on the page, and the fact that I had my first fiction sales, but because of the mental aspects that I learned. Writing is about having fun, first and foremost. And it's okay not to write every day; most months I only wrote about 2/3rds of the days, and I still had great wordcounts overall.

So. Tune in tomorrow or the next day for 2010: Looking Forward!

And I hope you all had fantastic 2009s, and will have an even better 2010.


Merc said...

I say round it off and call it 200k anyway, Inky One %-)

Anyway, great work--and thanks for the reminder, I too still need to do a 2009 recap *gulp*--and yes, I agree that you really do need to practice chilling this year. O:)

*celebratory cookies for progress made in '09*

Merc said...

Oh, one more thing... I've heard the ten year/1 million words thing (learning your craft) before, but I never remember who that bit of advice is generally attributed to... where did you hear it?

Anonymous said...

"Lesson discovered last year that really needs to be LEARNED this year: CHILL!!"
At first I read this as 'Lesson discovered last year that really needs to be LEARNED this year: CHILI!
Not sure why. I've probably been thinking about Chili too much...but it made me laugh. :D

199k! Amazing! I never count up my wordcount, but I'd be amazed if it's over 150k. :S


Inkblot said...

Merc - HA. With your official permission, it's now 200k B-) No idea where the 10 yrs/1 mill words comes from. Lots of writers toss it around - most recently either Natalie Whipple or Kiersten White, I forget which, because they were excited that they were about to break their 1 mill words :D

Scott - Well, according to my husband, I totally need to learn how to make a good chilli too, so you know :D hehe. And I can't NOT add up my word count; I'm a statistics freak when it comes to things like that, and it helps me to be gentler on myself if I can see that I am still actually making progress :)

Yunaleska said...

200k is a fab number to me.

Until you came along, I never kept a record of how much I write.

Inkblot said...

*grin* Behold, the madness, I spread it everywhere >:)

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