Alex Callahan

Perfect mix of magic and mayhem

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Writing Update – January (so what if it’s a little late)

When I was making goals this year, I told myself that in order to stay motivated, I needed some kind of accountability. And yes, being friends with another writer and having regular writing/editing weekends with her does help to keep me on track. But I wanted something more, and so I decided to post regular updates on the blog so that there were other people (a lot of them imaginary, let’s be honest) who would be able to keep track of my accomplishments and poke me if need be.

I’m not going to lie, at first I thought I would be making weekly updates, but with my day job and how much time I can realistically commit to writing, those would not make for very interesting, or very long posts. As a result, I settled on monthly updates.

We shall not speak about how late this January update is. Let’s just be grateful it’s here at all.

The Good

I kept up with my writing streak, writing a little every day. And while some days (especially when I had to pull overtime at work) it was really little, every word and every sentence counts and I’m kind of proud of myself.

I’ve written 2425 words in January, and it’s definitely over 2k I wouldn’t get otherwise.

I also did a lot of work on this blog, with planning and brainstorming blog post ideas and researching the mystical target audience… I even managed to keep up to the frequent posting schedule I wanted for a while. Basically, I tried doing something that would get me closer to my goals, which does bring us to the other side of January:

The Bad

It wasn’t all sunshine and daisies, unfortunately. While the beginning of the year was nice, work-wise, and I was prepared for the uptick in activity I would have to handle, what I wasn’t prepared for was my coworker going on sick leave, leaving me with all the work. There was a week where I didn’t even know what my name was by the end of it.

It did mean aside from writing every day (thank God for Evernote, allowing me to write on my phone while on the train) I had to halt everything else I was doing and planning on.

I’m not entirely sure how long it’s going to take for my day job to slow down again, so I’ll need to readjust my plans and action steps, but hopefully, I won’t have to stop altogether. I might have to adopt a less frequent posting schedule on the blog for the next couple of months, but hey, as long as I’m moving forward, all’s good.

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).

A post shared by Alex Callahan (@alex_writes) on

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!

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