Saturday, August 30, 2014

Achievement Unlocked: MilWordy

For those of you who just found this blog: welcome. Take a minute to look around and make sure you understand that I'm generally insane when it comes to word count and writing. A testament to this insanity is the sole fact that I undertook the MilWordy challenge for the third year in a row.

What is Milwordy, you ask? Why, it's the goal/challenge/insanity to write one million words in a year. Some people modify that goal (like me) and try to write a million words in less than a year (also like me). I know three people who can write a million words in a month. What those million words are depends completely on the person.

For me the goal was to write a million words from January 1 to November 30 which is the end of National Novel Writing Month. Last night, August 29th at about 8:30PM I wrote my one millionth word. It was "down." How, bleh.

Anyway, those million words DID NOT include Tweets, comments on forums, blog posts, or work related stuff. It is 1,000,000 words of fiction spanning across 11 novels, various short stories and a short story turned novella turned ongoing thing that's now novel sized. For a more detailed review keep checking my Novel Series tab under the 2014 year.

It's kind of funny that I'm writing this post now. At the beginning of the year I had set out to write two books a month then failed miserably by March. I wasn't even sure if I could get to the million and here I am three months early. I'm about 99.9% sure this happened last year too thought I think I hit the million in the beginning of August. Meh.

The difference between this year and last year is that I've still got a series to finish and another single book I really want to write. Maybe a short story for some kind of submission thing going on in October. I'm not likely to stop like I did around this time last year.

Now I know anyone reading this blog post is asking how in the HELL I wrote a million words. It's simple. I have no life. I have two friends who work opposing schedules to me so I see them once a month if I'm lucky. I have no kids, no significant other, and really no other hobbies besides reading and writing. When I get home from work (9AM -5PM) I eat dinner, go to the gym then write.

My average word count per hour is 2,000. During November or Camp NaNo months, it's closer to 3,000. If I'm researching something it's about 1,500. That means in about 2 hours I can write a 4,000 word chapter, maybe more, maybe a bit less.

Also: PRACTICE. Like I said somewhere up there this is the THIRD time I've completed Milwordy. I didn't wake up on January first and say "I'm going to write a million words this year because I've never done this before." I woke up and said: "Well, time to start writing another million words."

I've been writing for close to two decades. For the first 15 or so years of my writing career (of sorts) I wasn't really writing as much as I probably should have. The last four years have shown the most output solely because of National Novel Writing Month. I would not be sitting here celebrating my third Milwordy win in a row if I hadn't found NaNo back in 2010 and beat the challenge by 50K.

I owe every story to Nation Novel Writing Month and if I could donate my words in monetary increments every year I would. If I ever get around to self-publishing properly and actually making enough not only to survive but to have a lot of extra disposable income, NaNo is one of the places I would donate large amounts to regularly.

But I suck at marketing. I've said it before: I am a writer. I don't know how to edit. I don't know how to promote and I sure as heck don't know how to make a living off my writing. I just write. That's all.

For those curious folks, here's a look at my monthly stats and what I wrote:

Word count: 84,755
Novels: Dryer finished on January 11. The start of Witches.
Other: Various summaries, queries, and pitches that never got sent out.

Word count: 142,503
Novels: Witches, Car Jacking
Other: Continuation to Lies.

Word count: 124,571
Novels: Hunter
Other: Short stories set in the mystery series universe (called Memories) and a character from one of my other worlds meeting another character for the first time.

April (Camp NaNo)
Word count: 145,067
Novels: Disease Finished on April 13, start of Trust
Other: Memories, and more with the other characters from a different world.

Word count: 125,308
Novels: Trust finished on May 2 and Child finished on May 24.
Other: Memories, and back to the other world.

Word count: 96,563
Novels: Blood Christmas
Other: Memories, other characters again.

July (Camp NaNo)
Word count: 148,522
Novels: Pieces finished July 13, Senses finished July 31
Other: Best Friend, some planning for The Tattooed Man, another scene for other characters

Word count: 134,191 (as of the 30th)
Novels: Zombies finished on August 16, The Tattooed Man
Other: Planning for Mists of Time, November NaNo project.

Note: My online WC says 1,004,287 but if you add the above totals you'll get 1,001,480 meaning I miscounted on my personal tracker. I'll fix it when I'm not so lazy about checking from Jan to April.

Now that I've update the people who follow this blog I'm off to write three chapters (or so) for the last book in the Mystery series I've been writing since November 2013. This is book 13. I'm losing my mind.

Until next time: questions, comments, rants, rage and everything in between can be directed to the comments.


  1. Hi there, is there a website for Milwordy, or is it something that you just do for the heck of it? I've been trying to find a website and I can't find one for the life of me. Please let me know!

    1. Wow I'm slow. For some reason I never received notification for this.
      Anyway, I don't think I ever found an actual website for MilWordy. There's a lot of mention of it in a lot of author blogs and on the NaNo forums but I don't ever remember seeing an actual site. There is where I think the concept of MilWordy was born from.
      I heard about it back in 2011 (I think) on the NaNo forums and "competed" from there using a tracker I found online:
      Again, sorry for the lateness of the response. I wasn't informed someone had posted a comment.