The Journal: Fun with Numbers and a Blast from the Past

In today’s Journal

* Topic: Fun With Numbers and a Blast from the Past
* Today
* Of Interest
* The Numbers

Topic: Fun With Numbers and a Blast from the Past

Recently on a blog I follow now and then (the writer doesn’t post often), a writer listed her fiction numbers for the past several years. I like that, so I stole the idea. (Thanks, L.)

Now, I’m not comparing myself with L or with anyone else. We all have different lives with different priorities and with different time requirements levied on us. So I’m just jooking back to see where I’ve been in light of where I am now and where I want to be a year from now.

I keep track of my numbers because I like to gauge what I’ve done and show other writers what’s possible. I do it with specific numbers to provide a measurable gauge. “Novel” isn’t a quantity. “Short story” isn’t a quantity.

Over the course of my entire life before April 15, 2014, I wrote (approximately) 125,000 words of fiction in about 31 short stories. Zero novels.

On April 15, 2014, I started writing a short story every week. That ran for 70 weeks before I intentionally (and foolishly) broke the streak. And on about October 19, I started writing my first novel, originally titled “The Road to Adobe Walls.” I finished “Leaving Amarillo” 16 writing days later on November 9 with 40,313 words.

Here are my annual total words written over the past six years. Nonfiction words include only blog posts and nonfiction books:

*2014: fiction 245,170 — (no count for nonfiction)
*2015: fiction 686,146 — all 791,084
*2016: fiction 702,838 — all 976,298
*2017: fiction 453,762 — all 637,485
*2018: fiction 537,762 — all 729,238
*2019: fiction 452,693 — all 777,523

Total fiction words since April 15 2014: 3,078,371
Total fiction and nonfiction since January 1 2015: 3,911,628

(I’ve added those two totals to the end of my December 31 2019 Journal post.) (grin)

While researching these stats, I found this on my December 31 2014 Journal entry:

“Thanks to Heinlein’s Rules and writing into the dark (learning to trust my subconscious) in eight and one-half months, I almost doubled my entire life’s fiction writing output before April 15, 2014. [From] April 15, 2014 up through December 31, 2014, I wrote 45 short stories and three novels. [I started the first novel in October 2014.] This is why WITD is so important to me personally and why I wish it for you.”

On December 31 2019, the Quote of the Day was from Dean Wesley Smith: “If you’re not productive in this new world, you’re done. You’re just done.”

I recommend you check in with yourself. How’s your own production? If it isn’t where you’d like it to be, why?


As is my habit, this morning I checked PWW. I noted there wasn’t a post scheduled for Saturday, January 4. At the moment, that’s my scheduled day, so I posted an excerpt from a topic I wrote for the Journal a couple of days ago.

If any of you know an accomplished writer who would like to blog on PWW two or three times per month, please email me at

As the PWW site administrator, I’d prefer someone who isn’t mired in the myths, or at least not all of them. If folks want to hear writers extolling the “benefits” of outlining, critique groups, etc., they can find them on any number of websites. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean the new blogger has to practice writing into the dark either.

Today too the thought occurred to me that with what I have on my plate in 2020, I might have to adjust my goals. (Critical mind, anyone?)

That’s true. I might have to adjust them. After all, in addition to my writing, I’m also helping my wife as we transition StoneThread Publishing over to a licensing business. So if I find later that I need to adjust my writing goals, I will.

But in the meantime, what real difference does it make? If I don’t achieve my daily word count every now and then, that’s all right. The goal resets the next day. Even if I miss writing a short story one week, or don’t finish a novel by the end of a month, so what? The world won’t end. Nothing bad will happen. (grin)

So when your critical voice starts hinting that your goals might not be attainable, that’s how you fight it. With a healthy dose of So What? (grin) After all, writing should be fun.

All of that being said, today will more than likely be a nonwriting day for me. Though I’ve been practicing reaching my daily goal since the last week of December, they really start in earnest on Sunday, January 6.

And that transition I mentioned… it includes moving offices. The Hovel will become my main office, and my former office in the house will become the dedicated StoneThread Publishing office.

To effect that part of the transition, I have to move more non-office stuff out of the Hovel and into a storage bay (next door). Then I have to move my office from the house to the Hovel. Once those preliminaries are finished, my wife and I will finish setting up the new STP office in the house.

So I want to knock out those prelimaries before this coming Sunday. It’s an exciting time at Casa de Stanbrough. (grin)

Now I’m gonna take a little stroll up to the house for a break and some breakfast. Then I’ll come back and get started on the day.

If I write anything today, it’ll be on Day 3 below when I talk with you again. Which I expect will be soon.

Of Interest

See “Business Musings: Book Birth Days” at

See “Plotzperation” at

See “Sales Techniques to Help You Sell More Books” at

See “I Love the 20s” at

Browse the podcast topics at “Self Publish Strong”:

Browse the podcast topics at “6 Figure Authors”:

The Numbers

Fiction words (see specific numbers below)
Nonfiction words today…………… 960 (Journal)

Writing of Nagiditch (tentative title)

Day 1…… 3044 words. Total words to date…… 3044
Day 2…… 3189 words. Total words to date…… 6233

Total fiction words for the month……… 3189
Total fiction words for the year………… 3189
Total nonfiction words for the month… 2700
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 2700
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 5889

Calendar Year 2020 Novels to Date…………………… X
Calendar Year 2020 Novellas to Date……………… X
Calendar Year 2020 Short Stories to Date… X
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 45
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 8
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 197
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31

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