Hello! Welcome to my first blog post. Inspired by my friend, Sandy Papas, and her daily word count updates on Facebook, I decided to start this blog as a way to be held accountable for the words I’m writing (or not writing, for public shame on me) on a daily basis. January 1st seemed like a good time to get started on this, as I have many projects in mind to start, continue, and/or finish this year, and posting it on a public forum would put it out there about what I’m accomplishing (or not, but I’m trying to be optimistic here!). Feel free to join in or just follow me in my word journey throughout the year.
I was originally going to create an elaborate spreadsheet to keep track of all of my projects. My dream spreadsheet (who has those?!) included a page for multiple projects in every month and would somehow, magically, maybe, add up to a total word count for the year. But since spreadsheets aren’t really my forte, and I’m not even sure Excel (or Open Office, or Google Docs) can do what I was thinking it could, I decided to search and see if someone much cleverer than I am had created such a thing. And that’s how I found this blog post: http://www.jhdierking.com/2015/08/on-writing-word-count-spreadsheets/ which gave me several options. My favourite was the multi-project, year-round one by Mark Feenstra, who I will henceforth call Excel Guru Guy. Or maybe not. I doubt he’d want the moniker of EGG. Or maybe he would. I’m not sure. I don’t know Mark. I just think he’s a nifty guy, sharing his skills with the spreadsheet dreamers (but not doers) for free! I downloaded Mark’s fantastic spreadsheet (and for good karma, also signed up for his mailing list here: http://www.markfeenstra.com/mailing-list/), deleted his note per his instructions, changed the name to WordacCountability and the headings to suit my needs (Fiction, Short Stories, Nonfiction, Blogging), and hit save. Even doing that made me feel like I’d accomplished something today, the first day after the year that shall not be named.
If you’re wondering about the craptacular avatar I have up there, I tried to find a Gothic-looking abacus picture to use, but couldn’t find anything even remotely like what I had in my head, so I drew something that looks nothing like what’s in my head as a space holder until I’m able to find or create something better. I wasn’t going to let something so minor as zero drawing skills hold me back from launching this site today, the first day of WordacCountability! Happy birthday, new blog baby! You look…very simple. And empty. But I know you’ll grow into something beautiful one day, so I’m not worried about your humble beginnings.
Please feel free to drop comments below about writing, accountability, or what you had for breakfast (I had grapefruit and some toast, thanks for not wondering). As today is still fairly young, I’m going to post this now without my actual word count but update it before I go to bed with all the wondrous words I’ve written today. As my work schedule is quite sporadic, I’m not sure how I’m going to maintain such a thing as a daily word count, but it’s my hope that I’ll at least be able to handwrite in my notebook or quickly type some words into my phone on breaks and in transit even if I’m not on my computer every day. This year, I’m going to make sure Every Word Counts and let you know how it’s going here on WordacCountability.
Thanks for reading! And let’s get writing!
Edit to add end of day word count:
Short Stories: 0
Grand Total: 1,246 (because it’s day 1!)
Considering the computer issues I was having prior to “launch” and the brainpower it took to get this thing working properly when I’ve never done anything quite like it, I’m completely fine with my totals today. I wasn’t in the right head space to delve into my fictional worlds, so I fussed around with nonfiction for a while, and also wrote out my goals for January. Giving myself a clear direction to go for the month will help even a planner-pantser like me in the long run. And now I will reward myself with a bit of reading before bed. Thanks for following the beginning of my wordy adventures!