At the start of this year, when I set my plans and goals, I expected trouble reaching my word count goal. Living in the changing landscape of a pandemic while attempting to finish a house remodeling project, well, I figured things would not go according to my wishes. Nonetheless, I set aside time for writing every day and considered I’d won even if I only wrote for a few minutes.
Discouragement topped my list of feelings about my progress. Thoughts of “I have gotten little done” and “I am so far behind where I should be” were a recurring theme. But my fingers hit the keyboard, and I refused to abandon my commitment. Slow and steady isn’t sexy. We admire the overnight successes, the fastest runner, the first to publish, and those who hustle at lighting speed. I know I am none of those things.
This month when I sat to review my results and devise a plan forward, I decided to track and new matrix. Since June 2018, I have been recording my daily word counts in an Excel spreadsheet. Yes, I am that geek. For fun, I conducted a year-over-year and a month-by-month comparison. From the total words written standpoint, 2019 was my best year, while 2020’s total fell off a cliff. There is no surprise there.
The biggest shock came when I compared my 2021 YTD words with my 2019 word count through July. You could have knocked me over with a feather. My current year total is slightly ahead of 2019’s total through the same period. If I maintain this year’s daily word count averages, I will surpass my best year by 2%.
However, if you exclude my two lowest months for 2021—the two months I focused on finishing the remodel—something incredible happens. When I extrapolate for the rest of the year, I stand to beat 2019’s total by 25%. Without realizing it, I’ve been making slow and steady progress. The key has been persistence and an unwavering dedication to writing every day. I love numbers, and this new matrix has given my motivation the boost I’ve been needing.
Are you moving closer to achieving your goals?
Keep on writing.
Jo Hawk The Writer