Tuesday, October 02, 2012

How many words?

Kristine Kathryn Rusch got me thinking about approaches to writing. Again. In her most recent post, she stated, almost as a throw-away, that she wrote a million words last year. A million. Words. In a year.

Which, of course, begs the question: How many did I write?

Compared to a professional writer (one who solely makes her living at the writing craft), how do I (one who has a day job that pays the bills and a writing career that, until I read that post, I classified as mid-list. Compared to her and Joe Konrath, however? I’m not even on the same roster) stack up?

I started tallying. For the sake of a full twelve months, I started with September 28, 2011 and counted this blog post (written on September 29, 2012) as my year. I included published stories, unpublished files that go with those stories (the “extra” scenes I cut out as well as my character descriptions), and blog posts, both here and at the Scribes’. I did NOT include anything that I wrote for my day job. The numbers that follow center only on my writing career.

Published stories                                 141,420
Un-pubbed “extras”                                2,459
Stories started but not yet finished         18, 362
Blog posts (here)                                   52,685
Blog posts (Scribes)                                3,655
                                                           218,581 words in a year’s time


That number is SO much bigger than I expected. I knew I wasn’t near a million, but to discover I’m only a bit shy of a quarter of a million words?


You know I’m a data junkie, yet this was one stat I never thought of keeping, so I don’t know how this past year lines up against previous ones. I suppose I could go figure it out, but the numbers would be approximate since I often start stories and then set them aside for months (sometimes years!) at a time. Besides which, it would take time away from writing, which is, after all, what I really should be doing.

I suspect there are others out there, part-time writers, who write even more words in a year’s time than me. I take my hat off to them. I’m not a nose-to-the-grindstone kind of gal and if I could accomplish this in a year, imagine what you could do if you really tried!


You guessed it! Go back and total up everything you’ve written since September 1, 2011. These workshops began that month, so anything you’ve written for them counts.

Published or not, you ARE a writer, and that’s worth celebrating. Post your totals in the comments. Come on, show me up!



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