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?


  1. Aren't you glad you didn't toss those?
    My books are so short, 2017 would indeed have been a book.

    1. Indeed, Alex. Yeah, I'm learning that certain books will be shorter than others. I don't always have to hit 80 000 words. I'm no longer trying to be traditionally published, so I can write shorter books.

  2. Hi Murees - they look wonderful little books ... and that's great you have some of your early ideas to refer back to. Keep going and so glad to read your brother got his PhD ... and that you were able to help him - cheers and take care - Hilary

  3. I think it's to revise and rewrite your stories; all writers do. You do have to let them go eventually if you want to resubmit them, or what you could do, if you send them out to one agent/publisher and they respond with interest, you could then go back and make changes if need be. And that is a lot of writing that you've done, and that's something you should be proud of. I think it was Meg Cabot who said that if you write just one page a day, you'll have a full-length book in a year.

    1. Wow, that is true. One page a day is totally doable. I know . . . I have to send my book out into the world. I really want to. I just keep messing it up as it reaches completion

  4. I always do a lot of revising. I find it difficult to send my "children" out into the world.


    1. I can't wait to get to the revising stage. I keep creating new drafts. I can't wait to get this one done😊


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