The Daily Journal, Wednesday, February 27

In today’s Journal

▪ Welcome and adios (almost)
▪ On yesterday’s topic
▪ Topic: About Numbers
▪ Daily diary
▪ Of Interest
▪ The numbers

Hello and welcome to Sherry and Kimberley, and a sad farewell (I thought) to another subscriber. When I emailed him to say I was sorry to see him leave, it was news to him. So he’s re-subscribing. (grin)

Frankly, the topic I posted yesterday was half tongue-in-cheek. As I wrote somewhere in that article, if someone else outlines and plots everything to within an inch of its life, that’s fine with me.

In the rest of the article, I was simply pointing out that I (personally) don’t, and that to do so would bore me to tears.

But hey, whatever it takes to get to the “published” stage. The purpose of writing is to get to that point, and every writer is different.

The important thing to a fiction writer is writing fiction, putting out fiction, producing fiction, not how you prefer to get there.

Those who get wrapped around the wheel about outlining or not outlining are missing the point.

My point from yesterday is this: Those who get there, no matter which course they choose, are writers. Those who don’t get there are not. And those who choose to marginalize others with denigrating terms just because those others choose to get there another way are jerks.

Topic: All About Numbers

I enjoy watching the numbers grow. For that reason, January is my least-favorite month of the year.

It’s depressing on the first of January every year to see a blank in all five categories:

fiction words for the month and year,
nonfiction words for the month and year, and total words for the year). (grin)

And the depression kind of hangs on until February 1 hits. That’s the first day every year when the fiction and nonfiction words for the year no longer match the words for the month.

Anyway, watching the numbers grow motivates me to sit down one more time, spend one more day at the writing computer. That’s the main reason I watch the numbers for myself.

The numbers are another kind of streak, and streaks drive productivity.

But I can watch the number on my Annual Productivity spreadsheet. The main reason I post them below is so you can see them. So you can see that YOUR numbers will grow the same way.

For some of you, the numbers will grow more slowly than mine because you don’t have the luxury of being able to write whenever you want.

For some, they will grow faster than mine (witness Dean when he’s on his game) because you’re better at “coming back” than I am.

Hey, it’s all good. (grin) I tend not to compare my numbers with others’ numbers. I tend to compare my numbers with my numbers from yesterday or last month or last year.

If you don’t currently keep track of your own numbers, I urge you to do so. I promise, at the end of the year, you’ll be amazed at how many words you’ve written.

Here’s how I do it. This is not a suggestion or a recommendation. It’s just food for thought.

With my fiction, I record the exact numbers. To get that, I subtract my WIP total of the day before from the word count in my current WIP Word document at the end of the current day.

For the nonfiction (most often just this Journal), I count everything from the top to the last “Of Interest” entry, then round up to the next ten.

Most of the time after I post the Journal from Notepad to the website, I add more to it here and there. I figure that takes care of my approximation. (grin)

I don’t count emails and all that sort of stuff, though when I write another nonfiction book or if I write a separate blog post I’ll include that in the nonfiction total too.

So that’s just a quick rundown of how I do it.
But whatever way you choose, I hope you either are or will start recording your own numbers. Not for me or anyone else, but for you.

As I mentioned above, it’s one heck of a motivator.

Rolled out early but promptly wasted two hours averting slings and arrows (grin) and writing the stuff above.

Anyway, I took a short break at 4:15 and on my return to the Hovel at 4:30 I was inspired and wrote the topic for tomorrow. (I’ll count those nonfiction words tomorrow.)

Then I uploaded a couple of documents to distributors. Finally to the novel at 9. Man I screwed off a lot this morning! (grin)

But I had a rough night last night and the novel’s flowing well. I still have 7 days to meet the deadline (March 6) and stay on track.

Three of those have the potential to be short days (tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday) but I think I’m gonna be all right.

Good-enough day today.

Talk with you again then.

Of Interest

See “The Page Proof Nightmare” at

See “Q&A with Tom Purdom” at

See “Fingerprints: ‘Baby,’ It’s You!” at

See some of the comments on “Pacing and Spacing:
The Power Of Artful Paragraphing” at

See “Keep Readers Happy With White Space” at

Fiction Words: 3581
Nonfiction Words: 900 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 4481

Writing of Blackwell Ops 4: Melanie Sloan (novel)

Day 1…… 2363 words. Total words to date…… 2363
Day 2…… 2233 words. Total words to date…… 4596
Day 3…… 3353 words. Total words to date…… 7949
Day 4…… 1330 words. Total words to date…… 9279
Day 5…… 2263 words. Total words to date…… 11542
Day 6…… 3345 words. Total words to date…… 14887
Day 7…… 3657 words. Total words to date…… 18544
Day 8…… 3581 words. Total words to date…… 22125

Total fiction words for the month……… 72335
Total fiction words for the year………… 155738
Total nonfiction words for the month… 24740
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 50150
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 205888

Calendar Year 2019 Novels to Date………………………… 3
Calendar Year 2019 Novellas to Date…………………… X
Calendar Year 2019 Short Stories to Date……… X
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 40
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 7
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………… 193
Short story collections…………………………………………………… 31

4 thoughts on “The Daily Journal, Wednesday, February 27”

  1. Thank you for the welcome, Harvey. I haven’t been too good keeping word count records up until now. I think it’s because I’m either scared of numbers or the sheets I’ve used to record the words have been so complex.

    I’ve now set up a simple sheet and look forward to watching the numbers grow.

    • Cool. It’ll probably be depressing at first, but soon you’ll be amazed at how fast the numbers grow. In addition to finished stories and novels, it’s one more way to mark your progress. Interesting that you admit to being “scared” too. That conscious-mind fear is what stops us from doing a lot of things in an effort to protect us. It’s pretty easily overcome once you realize nobody’s going to come to your house and shoot you just because you didn’t write one day or didn’t get the numbers you hoped for. (grin)

  2. Heck no Harvey, I have no intention of leaving any time soon. It’s too much fun keeping up with your day to day’s. And you scour the author sites so I don’t have to…makes life much easier to juggle a J.O.B (sorry for cussing) and playing with friends while still learning new games to play with those friends.

    Thanks for the time you share with the likes of me through your daily rants.

Comments are closed.