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2009 in review

January 9th, 2010

Well, it’s the end of another year. Goodbye 2009. And hello 2010! I hope you all had great new year celebrations, and are looking forward to a whole new year of writing improvement! Of course, a new year is traditionally a time of reflection, and of goal setting. Today, I have been looking over the stats I gathered last year to see how I’ve been doing and what I need to improve on.

The blog

First though, a quick look at the blog itself. Let’s say that number again – 51 blog entries! That’s one a week since we started (well, almost – I had a week off last week. Okay, I’m sorry. I’m a bad person). Now I know that in the grand scheme of blogs, that’s no great achievement, but it was for me! Of course I had some help, and you can see my thankyous in my Christmas message (I feel like the Queen), but I’m genuinely proud of that achievement. And it does seem to have been helping. I have at least done some writing this year, and the posts I write have at times been a great tool for reviewing what I have learnt.

It has not been as successful as I would have liked however. Of course, that is my fault. I know the days of, “build it and they will come”, have long since passed, but in truth I have hardly done anything to promote this site. Again, that is largely to do with time (isn’t everything?) but I will just have to build it into my routine. So, that will form the basis for my goals on the blog.

The writing

Way back in May, I wrote about measuring improvement in writing. I have been gathering these stats ever since, so I now have a good half a year of figures to pour over.

Looking at it overall, I can see that I hit my productivity peak during September. This was when I was approaching the end of a story I was working on. However, after that it drops right down. I started a new piece of work then, and I must confess, I have been rather timid with it. This is of course, not the way to behave when approaching a new piece of work. The best way will always be to take the bull by the horns and go for it! Whatever it is I’m afraid of can be fixed later!

I have been rather down on myself about how much writing I have done this year. I have always had the impression that I was not trying hard enough, and not knuckling down. I was right – there is a huge difference between my best week and my average week. This shows the difference between the potential of my current routine, and the reality of not sticking to it. Still, it is encouraging to know how much writing can be done, even in short bursts. When I total up each month, then the year, it is shocking how much can be achieved. I said that I wanted to see how small improvements can accumulate into big gains when I set up this method of measuring, and I can certainly see that!

I wasn’t writing in 2008, that’s the thing. So, as much as I rightly berate myself for not doing more, I am doing a hell of a lot more than nothing! This in itself is an achievement, but before I pat myself on the back too much (let’s not get carried away now), I have also taken a look at how my best week would look over a whole year. What a difference! I took my best week, multiplied that by 52, and was amazed. I knew that my best week was over double my average (meaning I’m not even reaching half the potential that my routine offers me), bit it is still an eye-opener to see the full number there.

Once again, I must recommend keeping some kind of stats on your writing. If you are doing everything electronically anyway, getting a word count is normally a snap, and it only takes a couple of minutes to add that to a spreadsheet. Seeing the effect of small changes to my habits over time is a real inspiration. And being able to extrapolate from that gives further motivation. If you’re not trying it already, I urge you to give it a go.

I would very much like to hear from anyone who has been measuring their writing over the past year and what hey think of the results. Or if this is part of your new year resolution, please let me know, too. And I would really really like to know if you visited getmewriting last year and found it helpful. All feedback in the coments section below, please.

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Matt Motivation, Planning , , , ,

  1. Craig O’Connor
    January 11th, 2010 at 01:55 | #1

    I feel the same mate. I think about this past year compared to previous years, and it makes me sick as to how little writing I’ve done.

    But I am remedying that! OK, so quitting my job might be a step too far, but since leaving my soul destroying nothing job, I’ve gotten up to speed on my new project. 11,000 words in a week! Only, I have a problem with that, since thats essentially just my prologue.


    I shall write up a post and get it to you asap.

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