Monday, June 25, 2018

Keeping track of words written


When my brother was recently preparing for his wedding day, he decided it was a good time to declutter. You know, get rid of things he no longer needed, especially those from his bachelor days. While he was in this excited cleaning mode, he insisted the rest of us join him in this venture. I, one who doesn’t want to seem like a hoarder, got a few business diaries I had stashed in my room. As I got ready to toss these good looking diaries in the dumpster, a little voice (inside my head), not just some random voice, told me to look inside first. In my defence I’ve been having some problems with my memory, which is why I didn’t recognize these diaries at first. Once I opened them I found that these were the diaries I had used to keep track of which days I wrote, and how many words I had written, or if or when I was hosting someone for a guest post.

At that moment I felt like I had stumbled unto a goldmine. I could put all these numbers into an excel sheet and give myself a clue as to how much I had written since 2015 up until now. This is something that I have learnt from my researcher brother whose data I had captured for 5 years while he worked towards his PhD (which he got earlier this year). So I put it all into and excel sheet and this is what I got :

Year     Words  Months when written
2015 -    46659    (March, April, May and December)
2016 -    42674    (February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October 
                               and November)
2017 -    69884    (January, February, March and May)
2018 -    5858       (January, February and June)

I did a lot better than I thought I had. If you had asked me how the writing went, I would’ve said that I didn’t get much writing done in the past few years. But apparently I got a lot written. Unfortunately, it isn’t good enough for someone who wants to be a professional writer. The words per year don’t even add up to an average of one book a year. Maybe 2017 could be a novel.

Do you know the very sad part about the data above? All those words written were  towards my second book in my Thelum series, and maybe a few blog posts. Meaning, I have clearly rewritten this book several times since 2015. In 2016 I think I had decided to start over, which I had, and apparently last year I had decided to do so again. I have a bad habit of rewriting perfectly good books. With that I mean I was happy with the story and structure. And then for some reason I can no longer fathom, I would scratch it and start over. I am very upset with myself, and I know there is nothing I can do about it now. All I know is that I am determined to finish this second book. I feel like if I don’t finish it, I will never be able to move on to other writing projects. And I have so many new ideas.

I am still writing down my wordcount and adding to the excel document. It is such a great way for me to track my progress. On Saturday I had the urge to write and I wrote 440 words. I was happy with that. Every little bit helps.

How do you track your progress? Do you keep track of your wordcount?