What I Wrote In April

Wow. This year is starting to fly by. And the best thing about it? I’ve been writing like a flippin’ demon. To think that I am 39 and only beginning to truly understand myself as a writer. I am 39 and only now using the tools I need to develop my voice as a writer. Until this year, I never internalized the idea of the amount of effort that is needed in order to be successful.

(Mind you, I am not financially successful as a writer. I am only successful in that I am getting better at focusing on the process of writing rather than the idea of being a financially successful writer.)

May is here, and after the 4th coldest April on record in Chicago, it appears that the weather is finally taking a turn for the more tolerable. That is, it’s tolerable until the deep heat of the summer kicks in. But with the turn of May, it is also time to examine just how I did with my writing last month.

As of the close of April (as I turned off the lights to go to bed), I eclipsed 100,000 words of fiction for the year so far. That’s 100,257 words to be accurate. While I know I’ve written far more words than that in my lifetime, I am not wholly certain that I’ve written that many words in the span of a single year, let alone within 4 months.

Now while I want to pat myself on the back and celebrate, a large part of the deal in how I was able to churn out this volume of writing is by buckling down and accepting that I am willing to (and want to) write every day, no matter what. It is no longer about an end goal. It is about a daily process.

Before I continue to digress along topics that would clearly be better as a longer form blog post, let me get to the numbers.

As far as a month goes, I wrote just a smidgeon less than in March. This is in total words and in words of fiction. In the chart below (and with a little math), you can see that I wrote only 536 words fewer total words and 908 fewer words of fiction.

Now one might think that’s a bad thing; it isn’t. On average, I wrote more per day in all categories than in March. Given that April had one less day, it is then understood why the numbers are the way they are.

While only mildly better than the prior month, I feel that I am getting much better at being consistent. At least I am with regards to fiction. When you factor in blog posts and essays, the day-to-day count gets erratic. (For example, because of these “month in review” posts, day 1 of every month spikes in total compared to most days the rest of the month.) This is because I have made writing fiction my highest priority, along with it having a minimum target (1000 words per day).

Speaking of that, the end of April also meant that I hit 66 days in a row of writing over 1000 words a day. And the 82nd day in a row achieving a daily word count target.

As far as goals for next month, I am sticking with making sure that I not only write every day, not only that I hit 1000 words a day in fiction, but that I continue to build on consistency. I want to be able to have another increase in average words per day, but I am not shooting for anything in particular. (In other words, 0.1 words a day on average would work as an increase.)

All-in-all, I look forward to continuing to push through May with similar success. Here’s to another month of writing!

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