Alex Callahan

Perfect mix of magic and mayhem

Category: Updates

One Million Words: Halfway Through!

I wrote before about missing old school organization of my time, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I’ve been using a bullet journal since April 2016 (see here for an explanation what a bullet journal is).

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And while I’ll definitely write more about my bullet journaling adventure later on, right now, the only reason I’m bringing this up is that I recently realized I’ve passed a rather big milestone in my writing career.

They say you need 10,000 hours to become an expert in something, so I’ve been writing down my word count and how much time I’ve spent writing fiction since I started this crazy adventure.

After doing the math, it turns out that I’m halfway through my goal of writing 1,000,000 words of fiction!

Check out my numbers below:

Year words hours
2012 141552 150
2013 120000 130
2014 50000 70
2015 115222 114
2016 44563 50
2017 44948 73
Total word count: 516285
Total hours: 587

How amazing is that?

And yes, it took me 6 years to get there, but looking at these number is incredibly motivating. If I spend 1,5h writing every day, I could reach one million words this year. In the last two years, I only wrote something in the first half of the year (in 2017 it was due to the fact that I got a brand new job in June and needed a lot of time and mental readjustment). One of my goals this year is to write every day. I want to see how that will influence my yearly word count.

This overview also gave me one additional goal. It seems I will need to write 9,000,000 words (given my wph speed) to reach my 10,000 hours, and as an extension, mastery of my craft.

Wish me luck!

New Year, New Start: Writing Resolutions for 2018

It’s not a secret that this site, and by extension my writing career, has not been as active as I would like. But I want to use the New Year, with its resolutions, as motivation to get things going again. But I will need your help!

My life has not been the easiest lately. And by lately, I mean in the past year or two. It also changed a lot, especially when (because of reasons), I started looking for a full-time job and got hired at a corporation. It hurt to give up the majority of my writing time, but the job is amazing and brings me a lot of satisfaction. At the same time, it means that my writing career has to be put aside and my plans will need to be adjusted.

I’m not giving up because I love writing, but to mesh the two careers, I will need some patience and imagination. Here’s what I came up with:


I will not have as much time to write, or to be more accurate, to stare at the screen and switch applications from Scrivener to Twitter. I will need to be more efficient about it, basically. Use what little time I have now, and actually get words down on the page.

STEP 1: Go back to writing every day. Preferably in the morning, but any time will do, really. And preferably in Scrivener, but hey, the notes app on my phone is good enough in a pinch.

STEP 2: Post to the blog on a regular basis. Since I won’t be able to publish anything this year, I’m afraid I will get discouraged. Additionally, I’m hosting this site on Dreamhost, and while absolutely amazing, they are not the cheapest. So I want to feel like I’m doing something with it. So get ready for some blogging activity, as I get going!

STEP 3: I will need to set aside specific time to edit. If I write every day, I will still need to find time to edit what I’ve written. Right now, I’m thinking the weekends will be the best. I tried editing on the train before, while I was commuting to work, but that didn’t really work out. We will see how the weekends work.


So here’s a thing. To self-publish, I need to be self-employed, to comply with the regulations in my country. And being self-employed while working at my particular corporation means I need to fill out some additional forms. A lot of red tape, really, but it would be much easier for me to get traditionally published. Which is why I decided to make 2018 about querying agents and publishers with the drafts I already have, while I save up for the various things self-publishing authors have to pay for (covers! editors! coffee!).

I feel like it will teach me a lot. Still, I am being realistic and anticipate a lot (A LOT) of rejections. Then again, if by the end of it I’m as excited about being a writer as I am right now, it will be a clear sign that being a writer is exactly what I need to be doing.

Wish me luck?

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