Round-up: Word counts, and 17 ways to use 5 minutes (other than email)

I officially stopped keeping a journal this year. I started writing in my journal in 7th grade — close to daily — and have chronicled a great many memories. But this year I just could not make myself write in it at night. I’ve realized why, though, looking at my word count for 2013.

Let’s say I wrote 3 times a week here. It’s more than that, really, but if I estimate 3 posts per week at 500 words per post, that’s about 75,000 words. I also started the year blogging for CBS MoneyWatch 3 times per week, and then replaced that with Fast Company mid-way through the summer. So that’s another 75,000 words. I wrote a 93,000 word novel. I had part of that before the year, but my out-take file for the novel is at 12,000 words, and I know that I completely re-wrote most of the stuff I had. I’ll give myself another 75,000 words there. I wrote a 40,000 word book for the Philanthropy Roundtable. I wrote a handful of 3000-word magazine features, a handful of 800-word USA Today columns and Fortune.com pieces. Let’s say 20,000 words for all of that. I wrote a 13,000-word ebook (What the Most Successful People Do at Work). I’ve probably written about 10,000 words in speeches, plus assorted guest posts and other things. I wrote a book proposal for Mosaic this summer. This totals well over 300,000 words for the year.

I started keeping my journal in 7th grade because I wanted an outlet for writing. I think I don’t need that anymore. This also explains why I find it energy-draining to help my son write his stories at night. I’m happy to do puzzles, read books, etc., but writing stories is like celebrating the end of a pie-eating contest…with more pie. But hopefully the high-volume strategy will improve my craft. At least if makes me more efficient at putting thoughts into words.

In other news, a few links from this week:

Click bait! My post for Fast Company on 17 Productive Ways to Spend 5 Minutes Instead of Checking Your Email (Again) has now been shared several thousand times on Facebook.

I wrote about sabbaticals in a piece called The Best Management Tool You’re Not Using.

I wrote about training in a piece called 5 Ways to Transform Your Team Into Rock Stars.

Modern Mrs. Darcy is giving out her annual holiday kid lit guide (requires giving your email address).

 

 



6 Responses to Round-up: Word counts, and 17 ways to use 5 minutes (other than email)


  1. Diminishing marginal utility/productivity strikes again! (And shout-out to economies of scale/learning-by-doing.)

    • Laura says:

      @NicoleandMaggie – oh yes, sometimes it’s hard to find the 315,381st word.

      It’s not just writing, it’s also typing. I type notes from my interviews, and keep those as files. The one from the Philanthropy Roundtable project is another 65,000 words. Words, words, everywhere!

  2. Ali Davies says:

    A great reminder that it is important that, from time to time, we challenge ourselves on why we do what we do to ensure what we do is still serving us.

    • Laura says:

      @Ali- yep. This blog kind of functions as my journal. I don’t share everything, of course, but the highlights tend to come up…

  3. Anne Bogel says:

    Click bait indeed! Love the title–and the 17 ideas–in that Fast Company article.

    Thanks for the mention!

  4. ARC says:

    That FC article is *awesome*. As a serious Internet time-waster, I really needed that.