Today Wednesday 30th November marks 30 Days since I started my Writing Challenge. Since this time when it comes to writing many things have changed for me. I have broken through quite a few marks that I never thought I would in the past 30 days, all in a positive way for this writing challenge. Either way there is a reasonable amount of information to cover today in regards to the actual goals of the challenge and what I actually achieved. I still start with the essentials and move onto some of the other achievements near the end.
The Core Goal – Write 1,400 Words Per Day
To put it simply, I achieved this 29 out of 30 days. The only day that I failed to write over 1,400 words was on Day 4 with just 781 words. This is from my point of view quite impressive. I have previously found it challenging to get through goals that I set like this, and would likely have dropped it at day four in the past when I failed.
In fact this first failure after just four days is what I think really motivated me to make sure it worked for the rest of the month. Now there was an excuse for this failure, however I do not see it as a valid excuse for myself, as for the day overall I still have ample time to write. In fact if any day should have been short on words it should have been Day 6 when I flew to Melbourne and was caught up with the flight and doing things. But the thing is I am not making excuses, to write 1,400 words requires about one and half hours of time, and I had that time free pretty much every day of the challenge.
The Points Goal – Achieve 300 Points For The Month
When I first started this challenge I also set the points goal. Which was to achieve 300 points, based on a range of different tasks. Well some these worked out while others did not really make it at all. In the end I made it to 283 points, it was only due to throwing in some bonus point here and there, that I have made it as close as I have. There basically five areas that I could achieve points in, and this is how they went
– Write 1,400 words per day (3points/day) – I achieved 87 points for 29 out of 30 days.
– Write 2,800 words per day (5points/day) – I achieved 70 points for 14 out of 30 days.
– Publish a Post (2points.post) – I achieved 86 points for 43 published posts and pages.
– Complete Assignment from Travel Writing Course – none completed.
– Complete Travel Guide – none completed.
– Bonus points – 10 points for breaking 5,000 words on one day. 15 points for 7 straight days writing over 2,800 words. 15 points for breaking 75,000 words for the challenge.
So even though I did not quite make it to the 300 point goal that I was hoping for, I did not get to far off. I suppose I could have thrown in some very very rough posts somewhere to get the word count up, but who does that benefit? No one. But at the end of the day I may not have made the point goal I was hoping for, but I did still achieve a lot.
And The Final Word Count Is
In the end it all comes down to one number for the whole month. Which for me is the total word count. And the total is 79807 Words. Which really does amaze me, I was looking at the potential of writing 42,000 words if I had just made the goal each day through the challenge and now I actually come close to doubling that. This gives me a daily average words written of 2660 words per day.
Total Published Words
While I may have written all those words for the month, not all of them were in posts that could just be published, or even written for posts that are to be published. However this is the one that matters the most to me. Which at the end of the day comes in at 46239 published words between my two main blogs www.joelbrown.com.au and www.joelbrown.id.au along with a handful of other blogs and sites.
This figure for published words is a as good as it gets estimate. The reason being is that there are some posts I may have written for the challenge that I forgot about or maybe the word counts changed from the Windows Live counter to the WordPress counter. So this figure is taken from the published word count that is generated by the WP Word Count Plugin for WordPress.
Without spending a lot of time putting together figures so you can understand it all, the one important figure I want to share is how this affects my total published words. Between my main four blogs anyway. This months published words is an increase of around 15% on the published words between these four sites.
While I could get a list of all or at least most of the published posts, it really does not add anything to the result so for the moment I am just going to leave it out. However in total I published 43 posts in the last month across half a dozen different blogs and websites.
This figure is quite a event for me, I think the most posts I had published in one month before this was maybe 20 at a stretch.
Another interesting stat that I would like to share is the number of keystrokes for the month. I use a little program that logs every keystroke and counts it. I recent this before I started writing on the 1st of November, and it has been running ever since. It does include other writing such as emails, and anything I have done on the computer but it still is primarily related to this challenge for the bulk of the keystrokes. Right now it is at 724819 and that works out to an average of 24160 per day. Previously before November I was averaging about 6600 keys per day. So more then Tripled for this month
When it came to writing far to often would I sit there and just think about topics and half write bits and pieces of posts. I would waste time basically. However I know that writing is the thing that I want to be doing. It is something that I enjoy doing and obviously now through this challenge I have proven that I am capable of writing as much as I set my mind to. Especially seeing the past 10 days that were responsible for more then half the words of the whole month.
While this month has been a relative success I need to look at ways to keep this habit going. While many people say that a habit takes just 21 days to instil in your routine. I am not sure if writing is actually really a part of my routine now or not. The primary reason is that I still find myself and my mind wandering to other things on the internet such as Facebook and Forums, when I am allocating time for writing. Topics are still an issue for me to come up with at times when I want to write.
But more importantly, if I am not tracking my writing and aware that I need to write a certain number of words things might be better. In the past month I have found that to many times I will put off writing a piece because I know it will be roughly a certain number of words but today I already have enough words to fill the goal. So this might be a good thing and may not, only time will tell.
I am definitely glad that I did this challenge and will for sure do more challenges in the future. However I think that the wise move on doing 30 day challenges is to not do them back to back. You need time between to rest and take on things that are not so focused on one area. It was a successful challenge though, and I am happy.