The writing roundup: Yearly summary of new words written and books read

One of my goals for 2024 is to be more consistent with my writing. So, in order to keep myself accountable,  and because reading and writing is important for a writer, I decided to try to go back to the beginning to see how much I’ve been reading and writing since I started writing (again), back in 2016. And, to create a record that I could add to in the future, to see just how much I’m writing (so in the words of Bridget Jones, I could have “The truth. The whole truth” about my reading and writing life, basically so I can better plan with my editor, and plan a publication schedule I can deliver on.

Going back to the beginning was tough though, because despite looking at these metrics over the years, I didn’t keep good notes in one place, so I needed to go back through old notebooks and my computer files to try to piece together a bit of a “writing and reading timeline” and so,  these are the numbers I’ve used below.

So, what you need to know about the numbers below: mostly, they’re an approximation of new words added to a project. They don’t include rewrites (and I’ve done a lot of rewrites where, for example, I’ve deleted 10 chapters and written 10 new ones or, written a book, changed the structure, and changed the age range, and now, am restarting a novel again, or I’ve rewritten the first chapter a few times…basically you get the gist). So, if these numbers vary to other end of year reviews I’ve reported, that’s probably why. But, I’ve done my best to scroll through my old newsletters, podcast interviews and notebooks, as well as going to my computer files to try to figure out when certain books were started, how many new words were added each year, and what the current word counts of the active projects are.

I generally tend towards being conservative with estimates, so the actual number of words written each year, is probably more than I’ve reported here. (But if I find anything here is wrong, I’ll update it). Also, these notes don’t take into account any of the nonfiction work I did in this time period.

So, without further ado, here’s the summary:

2023

The year of hell. It was good for one thing; helping me realise that if I didn’t start using the random pockets of time in my day, I was never going to get books finished. So, if I wanted to write, I had to prioritise it a little more and I had to head to the desk, and start writing when I had time…

With that said, most of the work was done in the second half of the year, after my father passed away, but while he was sick (in the first half of the year), I did manage a bit of editing on A Touch of Magic, and it was easier to write short stories and start projects, than to work on a big project with a lot of detail, like the Moonstruck Mother series.

Total words written: approx 98K

  • 63K words toward WW (Moonstruck Mother series book 2, draft 1)
  • 7.7K towards WP (Moonstruck Mother series book 3, draft 1)
  • 12K towards the A Touch of Magic re-write (extending novella to novel) begins
  • 4K toward the high fantasy project I’m calling TSD
  • 5K towards TFI (the second middle grade fantasy book)
  • 2.3K towards short stories and partials

Books published: None, but A Touch of Magic (the novel)  was sent off for a copy edit and WW (Moonstruck Mother, book 2) was sent off to my editor for a manuscript assessment. Also 50K of the 98K were written as part of the Nanowrimo challenge.

Total books read: 31 books (8454 page reads) (my goal was 100 books)

  • 5 audiobooks
  • 12 ebooks
  • 14 print books

2022

Back to “normal” life. Kind of. One kid in high school, one at primary school, a stack of other things and the beginning of the year of hell.

Total words written: approx 102K

  • 40K words toward WW (Moonstruck Mother series book 2 draft 1)
  • 20K towards the A Touch of Magic re-write (extending novella to novel) begins
  • 2K toward the women’s fic with fantasy project I’m calling UF
  • 10K towards an international collaborative novel project
  • 30K towards TFI (the second middle grade fantasy book)

Books published: None, but A Touch of Magic (the novel)  was sent to 6 alpha readers. 50K of the 102K words written were part of the Nanowrimo challenge.

Total books read: 31 books (8454 page reads) (my goal was 100 books)

  • 5 audiobooks
  • 12 ebooks
  • 14 print books

2021

Covid year 2. Highlight of the year was chatting with my new writing buddy Jennifer, as well regular chats with Marina, Lorel, Paul and Angela and Sarah when time would allow.

Total words written: approx 84.6K

  • 20K words toward WW (Moonstruck Mother series book 2 draft 1)
  • 5.6K short story Going Somewhere (extended from flash fiction and slightly longer version)
  • 13K towards the A Touch of Magic re-write (extending novella to novel) begins
  • 23K towards the GG rewrite (a middle grade fantasy – previously a fantasy chapter book series, called Misty Hollow)
  • 1K toward a high fantasy project I’ll call TSD from now on.
  • 10K towards an international collaborative novel project
  • 12K towards TFI (the second middle grade fantasy book)

Books published:

Total books read: 31 books (8454 page reads) (my goal was 100 books)

  • 5 audiobooks
  • 12 ebooks
  • 14 print books

2020

Covid year 1. And down here in Adelaide, we didn’t even get the worst of it, but it affected everything. Need I say more? Although one highlight of the year was chatting with my new writing buddy Marina, as well as Lorel, Paul and Angela and Sarah when time would allow.

Total words written: approx 13.6 K

  • 2.3K partial – new story idea about friends
  • 1.7 toward Going somewhere (extending it from the flash fiction version)
  • 5K towards UHS (story related to A Touch of Magic / FOTU universe)
  • 4.6K The Curse (a novella associated with A Touch of Magic/ FOTU universe)

Books published: Wolf Mother (Moonstruck Mother series Book 1) published in May.

Total books read: 31 books (8454 page reads) (my goal was 100 books)

  • 5 audiobooks
  • 12 ebooks
  • 14 print books

 

2019

This was a challenging year. It started with a car accident, and ended with the Cudlee Creek bush fires which impacted my sister’s property.

Total words written: approx 114 K

  • 34K towards Hidden (a prequel novel related to Familiar)
  • 60K Misty Hollow (5 little books – a juvenile chapter book fantasy written for my kids)
  • approx 13K towards Wolf Mother (Moonstruck Mother book 1)
  • 7K toward short stories and partials, and some flash fiction (including the first flash fiction version of Going Somewhere)

Books published: None.

Total books read: 67 books (14,868 page reads) (my goal was 100 books)

  • 10 audiobooks
  •  41 ebooks
  • 16 print books

2018

In 2018, I was officially into the writing groove and I loved it. Other notable things that happened this year, was a trip tot he USA with my family.

Total words written: approx 120K

  • 2.5K toward Familiar
  • 9K toward Witch Hunter (an urban fantasy)
  • 7K towards a short story (fun writing project with friends)
  • 5.6K towards Awakened (previously called Familiar)
  • 70K towards Wolf Mother (Moonstruck Mother book 1 draft 1)
  • 27K towards Hidden (a prequel novel related to Familiar)

Books published: (No fiction, as I was working on the nonfic cookbook collection and published those)

Total books read: 58 books (11,926 page reads) (my goal was 100 books)

  • 0 audiobooks
  • 48 ebooks
  • 9 print books

2017

In 2017, I’d been bitten by the writing bug by this time and was getting into the groove, and I was chatting regularly with my writing buddies (Sarah and Angela, as well as newer friends, Paul and Lorel) which really helped with the motivation and momentum.

Total words written: approx 86 K

  • 25K towards Conflicted novella (a side story about two characters in Familiar)
  • 25K towards ATOM v1 which was published in the War Torn anthology (created by a group of indie authors) and then when the company that it was distributed through closed down, we each independently published our own stories.
  • 7.2K towards an urban fantasy story about a witch hunter
  • 13K words toward Familiar
  • 3.3K towards a women’s fic with fantasy vibes (this is an active project I’ll refer to as UF)
  • 0.6K towards the first middle grade fantasy
  • 12K towards an urban fantasy related to the Familiar Lore

Books published: A Touch of Magic novella (first in the War Torn anthology in June, and then later, by itself in December).

Total books read: 15 books (3,805 page reads) (my goal was 52 books)

  • 0 audiobooks
  • 12 ebooks
  • 3 print books

2016

Total new words written: approx 80K

  • 80K towards Familiar (the urban fantasy)(50K of which, was part of Nanowrimo)

Total books read: 1 book (approx 242 pages read)(my goal was 12 books for the year)

(I didn’t start actively doing the goodreads reading challenge “properly” until the following year and so, I did read more books than this, but this is all I have recorded on the challenge). But in the interests of keeping this consistent, the break down was:

  • 0 audiobooks
  • 1 ebook
  • 0 print books