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Diary Writing

Word count

It’s the last day of January. This morning I tallied the words I’ve written so far this month, and it came out to 27,935.

The first thing that leaps out at me is that this is about half the words required to complete National Novel Writing Month. I’m actually pretty happy with this, because I wasn’t trying to meet a certain word count at all. I get the feeling that as I keep writing every day, as I get used to doing it and it becomes part of my daily life, my output will naturally increase. By the time November rolls around, I might actually be to the point that I can do NaNoWriMo.

I’ve tried NaNo a couple of times, but I never made it past about ten days of writing. The shift from not writing at all to suddenly trying to output thousands of words a day was not sustainable. I quickly got bored, frustrated, and blocked. (I also ended up losing everything I wrote in my 2004 attempt in the 2005 apartment fire.)

This more gradual approach seems to be much better; I can write whatever I’m inspired to write, and I don’t feel pressured to be particularly prolific as long as I write something.

It’s been heartening, too, to see that I’m able to keep writing despite the weird highs and lows I go through. Noticing how often they’ve been happening has been strange. I don’t know if my moods have always swung this frequently, or if writing daily is causing me to spend even more time inside my own head than usual. I wonder if I should come up with some way of tracking and quantifying my moods.

In any case, the month isn’t quite over yet. I’ll be writing more today, and I look forward to updating my tally sheet with the final word count for January. Then…on to February!