I began my efforts to write every day on February 27, 2013. That means that as of yesterday, one full year has passed. In that year, I managed to write every day, except two. I put together a diagram of what this looks like. It will look small but you can click on it to zoom into it and see the details.
The x-axis is the date, the y-axis the word count. Every single day in the year is plotted, including the two days on which I didn’t write.
The blue plot represents the actual number of words I wrote on that day. The heavier red plot is the 7-day moving average which provides a better look at trends. The green line is the goal I set for myself to try to hit each day, although I didn’t worry much if I didn’t hit my goal. Mostly, I was trying to do some writing every day.
Some things that I included that you can see if you zoom into the image:
- Each piece of fiction that I worked on in the year is noted, and the arrows point to the rough start and end dates.
- The two circles on the date line represent the two days on which I did no writing.
- The yellow lines you see on the date line represent dates when I was on vacation. So you can see that I wrote, even while I was on vacation. (The exception being while I was at Launch Pad, where on two days, I was simply too busy to get in any writing at all.)
- The chart does not highlight 9 pieces of nonfiction that I wrote during this time, although it does include the word counts.
- The words counts on the chart represent my freelance writing, fiction and nonfiction, but do not include my blogging.
For the most part, until very recently when I have been busier than ever before my 7-day moving average stayed above my goal line, which is good.
In the 365 days between February 27, 2013 and February 26, 2014, I wrote a total of 316,000 words. I averaged 865 words each and every day. On my worst day in which I did write, I only managed 20 words. On my best day, I wrote 5,400 words. There were 71 days on which I wrote less than 500 words, but only 24 days on which I wrote less than 250 words. There were 101 days in which I wrote more than 1,000 words.
I had two major streaks during this time. The first one last 140 consecutive days of writing. The second, and still current streak is now at 220 consecutive days. At one point, I exceed my daily writing goal for 33 consecutive days.
During the year, I completed 11 story drafts (including the novel), one of which I’ve sold (so far). I wrote an additional 12 nonfiction drafts (totaling 9 pieces of nonfiction, all of which I sold).
And, here’s the kicker for people who don’t think they have enough time in the day to write. I did all of this writing, all 316,000 words of, averaging about 39 minutes per day at the keyboard, working on stories or articles. Put another way: if you can find 30 minutes in your day, and you are persistent, you can write a heck of a lot.
I fully intend the streak to continue. As I’ve joked before, I’m aiming for 2,633 consecutive days of writing. But in reality, I’ve learned only to worry about the writing that I have to get done today.