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 thoughts on “Round-up: Word counts, and 17 ways to use 5 minutes (other than email)”
Diminishing marginal utility/productivity strikes again! (And shout-out to economies of scale/learning-by-doing.)
@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!
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.
@Ali- yep. This blog kind of functions as my journal. I don’t share everything, of course, but the highlights tend to come up…
Click bait indeed! Love the title–and the 17 ideas–in that Fast Company article.
Thanks for the mention!
That FC article is *awesome*. As a serious Internet time-waster, I really needed that.