2021 Summary – A Year in Writing

Well, what the fuck was that? Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and all that, but holy fuck… what was that year?

In all seriousness, I hope everyone who finds this managed to stay safe, find some enjoyment and peace during these ridiculous times. It’s hard living in history and harder still when you’re a young person during a downward turn in history. Be safe, be smart, don’t be an asshole.

So what did I write?

Okay, so I didn’t have a huge list of finished drafts of new stories. I just didn’t. Writing new little episodes and finishing them was not my priority this year. While I do kick myself for not having at least a few, I was ALWAYS working and more importantly, I gained more knowledge about my own writing and working habits.

Waking up at a proper time, getting regular sleep and eating properly are all pieces of keeping proper writing habits. I’ve learned I cannot be creative immediately after rolling out of bed, I need some time to get the gears going in my head.

Given I worked a full time job most of this year I had to scrape and claw my way to a writing some times. Many days I just didn’t have it in me to be creative at all. I’m a cook in a busy kitchen. It is high stress, fast paced and utterly anarchic. I love it.

When business was slower, I would work 4 day weeks and use Sunday and Monday entirely for writing and housework. Friday night and Saturday morning were for me, to do what I pleased or do nothing at all. Learning the importance of these rest times does help the creative flow, but it can also be an avenue for procrastination and resistance if you let it. DON’T LET IT.

But what did I write?

I published all my flash fiction as an ebook collection and I published my second short story collection; Black as Night. Link HERE if you want to order a copy!

I drafted a novella called Tyrant which I rewrote as a 66k novel. Tyrant follows a monster scientist recovering from a trauma in her life as she returns to duty when krakens begin to attack oil rigs off the coast of Nidavellir.

Yeah it’s ridiculous, but I tend to feel my writing is at its best when I take ridiculous genre ideas and ground them. I’ve wrapped the fantastical study of monsters with the real work of wildlife biologists, often stuck cleaning lab equipment more than diving. Forced to navigate local life as much as navigate around great beasts.

I worked at several stories of the Stranger’s adventures through the south and a few case files of Kcaz Skry.

How much did I write this year?

Alright, let’s crunch the numbers. This is largely inaccurate because it’s impossible to quantify every bit of creative work. Only know that most days, I record either word count or hours spent working, but not always both. Sometimes I would do 3 hours of work and write that down, sometimes I would do 2 hours of admin work and write 1000 words. It’s all over the place. The only major preface I want to make sure any other writers know when looking at this is that word count could mean drafting, editing or rewriting. Sometimes I could edit and copy n’paste 1k words in an hour, comb through it, make it better, then move on because that’s all I had energy to do that day. Sometimes I had to rebuild whole sections from scratch and I was only able to because I had the day off.  So understand that this is words AND hours spent. Not how many words in given hours. It is the combined total of both all the hours AND the words which have uncounted hours.

Don’t compare to me. This is for me so I can understand my own strengths, weaknesses and habits.

So let’s do this…

January – February – March

45 hours + 7 hours + 29.5 Hours = 81.5 hours

16,000 words + 15,100 words = 31,100 words

80 pages edited

April – May – June

42.5 hours + 25 hours + 41 hours = 108.5 hours

24,200 words + 19,700 words = 43,900 words

July – August – September

12 hours + 14 hours = 26 hours

4,800 words + 4,000 words + 29,400 words = 38,200 words

October – November – December

4 hours work

21,750 words + 20,200 words + 17,850 words = 59,800 words

25 pages edited

TOTALS

            214,950 words, 222 hours and 117 pages.

            Remember, this is combined efforts. I did not do 200k words in 200 hours, I did 200k words AND 200 hours of additional work. If my math is off, tell me.

So this coming year I’m going to try to record things and be a tad more consistent… probably combing both hours and word count… because JESUS CHRIST was this a lot to go through.

First thing to say is the importance of consistent, regular engagement. There’s lots of times here when I wasn’t able to do much but I always did a little. ALWAYS. No excuses. I always worked at something. I was always editing, drafting and rewriting SOMETHING. Even when I was working full-time, launching a book or doing a million other things, something was always going on.

This isn’t a standard everyone can reach, sometimes you only have the weekends or one night a week. The important thing is to not waste that time, to cherish it and fight for it.

I hope this post reveals a little of what I’ve been up to and how my brain works when writing.

I hope everyone remains safe and warm as we enter 2022.

#

If you like what you read here, please consider ordering my books HERE.

Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s