What I Wrote In March

(Fowl Language Comics. Links to source)

Happy Easter, everyone. Yet another month of writing is now done! I crawled across the finish line this past month as the last days coincided with a holiday weekend filled with lots of family activities and Easter bunny-ing for the kid. But I still hit my target, and I was able to write every day this last month.

Now for some of the breakdowns:

For starters, I did miss one goal that I had laid out since January. I had wanted to be hitting 1500 words a day by the end of this month. That did not happen. I eclipsed 1500 words on 5 separate days, but I was not able to do so in a consistent manner. However, I had reached over 1500 words only 4 other times this year, meaning that I did 1 more than I had in total the last two months. Positives are positives. I am not going to poo-poo myself over not hitting the goal.

On the other hand… I hit over 1000 words a day, every day, on fiction alone, and in doing so, I wrote a TON more than I had the previous months. Here’s that handy chart like I showed last month:

January February March
Total Words 20326 25327 39791
Words Fiction 9747 21036 35804
Words Blog 9233 4171 3987
Words Non-Fiction 1346 120 0
Words by hand 1290 120 0
Day written 29 26 31
Total Days 31 28 31
Avg Words per day written 700.9 974.1 1283.6
Avg Words per total days 655.7 904.5 1283.6
Avg Fiction per day written 336.1 809.1 1155.0
Avg Fiction per total days 314.4 751.3 1155.0
% Fiction written 48.0% 83.1% 90.0%
Days missed 2 2 0
Days over 1000 words 6 9 31

As you can see, I wrote over 14,000 more words in March than in February. All of it (and then some) was from my concentration on fiction (more on that later). My average word count was 1,155 words per day of fiction (1,283.6 words per day total). That’s over a 300 word a day improvement! If you look at it compared to January, my daily fiction count is up over 300%. That is huge. HUGE!

Looking at this, the most important part to me is the average words per day. While I did write over 14,000 more than last month, it was also done with having written 5 days more than then, skewing that total higher. The average tells more of the day to day performance. If I added standard deviation as well, it would really show how I am doing, but that is not something I have yet decided to look at.

On the whole, I was able to smooth out more of my writing by the middle and end of March, as one can see from the chart below.

filtered for fiction only

Like I had said back in the beginning of March, I believe that my sweet-spot right now is going to be between 1200 and 1500 words a day. In fact, I had 6 days in a row of over 1200 words. I believe I can do better than that, yet I haven’t been able to make that happen. And I think I know why.

That brings me into the April goals:

In April, I am aiming to push my average daily word count to over 1200 words a day for fiction. That will take an increase of just 50 words a day, every day. That would push the average total to over 1300. But that is the only word count related goals I have. The rest are more process based. I want to practice more on tricks to help solidify my habits. Planning is the biggest part.

I have been getting better at spreading my writing out through the day: getting a little when I wake up, a little on breaks, and then getting the rest of it after getting home and before bed. Consistency here is not my strong suit, however.

In that vein though, I did focus exclusively on one project, Of Earth and Ice, which I now intend to do until I complete it sometime between May and July (my target is between 150,000 to 200,000 words on that project, and I am standing over 80,000 right now – meaning that I am probably going to finish in less than 120 days with over 1,000 words a day as my writing pace).

I want to get better at planning out what I am writing. I figure after I get better at that, and then get some more projects under my belt, I’ll be much better at guessing target word counts than I am now (which is why there’s a 50,000 word spread in my target for the current project). That’s why April will be all about strengthening planning and outlining skills, not necessarily big jumps in word count.

So April begins! And may it be another great month of writing!

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