Writing Goals: Another week, another record

It’s time for another check-in with my weekly writing goals. Word counts, please!

January 16, Day 16: 882 words

January 17, Day 17: 630 words

January 18, Day 18: 698 words

January 19, Day 19: 1,236 words (woohoo – my highest word count so far this year!)

January 20, Day 20: 0 words (followed by a big ol’ goose egg for writing, although I did spend approximately an hour editing a piece I sent to a literary magazine, which counts as writing work, but no new words on paper)

January 21, Day 21: 0 words (because I had a ton of work from my day job to finish up for Friday morning)

January 22, Day 22: 655 words

That’s a grand total of 4,101 words for the week, and 12,047 words for the month so far. I am rocking the hell out of this thing!

Even if, truth be told, most of my word counts are coming from writing blog posts, rather than working on my WIP.

Some new decisions and directions

So, this week I decided a couple of things:

  1. I’m going to write more short fiction this year, so I’m also going to send more short fiction out for publication. Therefore, one of my new writing goals is to submit at least one new story to a new publication each week. I have a list of places that are currently open for submission, and some story ideas percolating in the back of my mind. (I even sent one story out already, but I think I may have accidentally re-sent this publication the exact same story I sent them 3 years ago, because unfortunately their submissions system doesn’t acknowledge the name of your piece in either the auto-responder or the rejection letter…)
  2. Since tracking my word counts has really been kicking my butt in gear in terms of following through with my daily writing commitments, I’m also going to start tracking my submissions more carefully. (And, yes, so that re-sending the same story to a publication twice will be avoided!) I now have a word count spreadsheet as well as a submission spreadsheet set up in Google Drive, to help keep track of everything. I’m going hog-wild for spreadsheets!

I also learned that the Nelson Algren Literary Awards are open for submissions until January 31st, so I’ve been pondering a story that I could write for this contest (which is held yearly by the Chicago Tribune). I’ve currently got a germ of an idea, but haven’t yet managed to start putting the words on paper. I plan on doing that tonight, after drinking a nice glass of wine to get my typing fingers loosened up.

Did I beat last week’s total?

In week 2, I set a record word count of 3,975 words for the week. This week I was a little bit lazier with my output, having skipped two writing days, and yet I still managed to snag a record-breaking total of 4,101 words!

And, since my piece for the contest can be a maximum of 8,000 words, I hope to shatter my own record with a single story next week. How’s that for tenacity?

My goals for next week

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  • Since the January 31st deadline is coming up quick, I plan to write and revise my story for the Nelson Algren contest, and send that in ASAP.
  • I’ve also got February 8th deadline for a superhero piece I’ve been working on, so after I finish wringing out my soul on the literary piece, I’ll get to jump back into my more typically humorous style with some heroes and villains trying to keep the balance between good vs. evil. No biggie.


What about you?

Have you been writing in any challenges so far this year? What does your weekly word count look like? Feel free to share your tales of success or woe in the comments section below!

One Comment

  • Katie @ Doing Dewey

    I have to say, starting to write my thesis has given me a new respect for authors doing word count challenges! If I get inspired, I can easily write very quickly, but many days, I write much slower than my max speed as I figure out what I want to say. It looks like you made some great progress this week!