Photo by Dan Dimmock on Unsplash

The past week has been almost the opposite of what I had hoped. I planning on writing more than the week before and publishing several new posts. The result instead was a decrease in my writing and just one new post published. On the plus side though, I got another story almost ready to publish, and another still to complete from the previous week.

A realisation I came to this week relates to one specific aspect of writing. The need to research some topics and just how distracting that can be to the act of writing. I lost multiple hours this week to research aspects of two articles. One of them the details around a quote for this story.

Anyway, let’s get into a look at the topics for today and get into the update.

Discussion topics

  • Goals progress
  • Thoughts for the week
  • Research Distractions
  • Draft Update

Goals progress

My writing log this week covers the week beginning 11th May 2020 and concluding on 17 May 2020. In this time I completed 1,896 words and published three articles.

I have written 36,382 words towards my 1 million word goal and published 50 articles.

The above result means that I need to aim a little higher each week now for 29,584 words per week or 4,226 per day. While for my publishing goal, my target is still similar at just over 15.3 articles per week or 2.19 per day.

Thoughts for the week

I have mixed feelings about the past week of writing. On one hand, the outcome is rather dismal and well below the expectations I want to achieve. On the other hand, I am happy with what I achieved.

Writing in an entire week, half the words I need to write daily will not help achieve my goal. In fact, the writing I completed last week occurred all on the one day. More and more it seems I hope that the same approach will produce different results. Each week it turns out that I only write on one or two days. When I need to be writing on all seven.

“Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result” — Unknown

The above quote is one of those distractions I attribute to research and has consumed the last hour. I could easily have gone with my assumed knowledge and attribute the quote to Albert Einstein. However, I wanted to be sure I was correct. The resulting research showed I was not correct. While I found multiple articles discussing the quote here or here. None of them relate it back to Albert Einstein. These results came from following a trail in an article by Michael Becker. Which leads me to attribute the quote to unknown.

So over the next few weeks I will have to try some different approaches to getting writing completed. Not just completed, but starting fresh pieces, instead of just dropping ideas into drafts. While also moving towards ensuring, I am writing on a daily basis.

In the past week I published one other article on Medium besides my Writers Log. The article was about writing and asked, “Am I afraid to write?” To find out my answer you will have to read the article. I had some good feedback at about the article and so far has received 49 views and 29 reads.

Am I Afraid to Write?
My greatest writing

Research Distractions

Over the past 10 years I have written over 1,000 blog posts, stories and articles. Even though I have researched some information for many of these articles, the vast majority of writing is from personal experience.

The nearly 400 articles on my travel blog are an example of this. When I travel, I write about the places I visit and the activities in which I partake. However, this requires very little in-depth research as I capture a lot of the information throughout my travels.

Perhaps when writing about travels the entire trip is research. Here though, I am speaking specifically about dedicated research while writing. When I sit down to write these stories, I have the information ready and waiting. I need not spend another one or two hours to research the details of what I will write.

Unlike when I sit down to write a specific article on a specific top like the donations for the Australian Bushfire Appeal. In the past two weeks, I have spent over six hours digging through multiple sources to bring together all the information. However, before publishing this article I still have more research needed, along with a fact check pass through the article.

The result will be an in-depth article with a lot of detail. But when I look at the research I have performed so far, probably about 50% will be in the article. The other 50% is distraction or dead ends. In some ways I suppose this research is not all that different to travelling. When you explore a city and write about the experience you are bound to exclude some places you visit as not interesting. Even though you spent the time to visit them yourself.

I know that my writing will require research. I know if I want to write quality pieces; I need to provide firm facts and figures with references. But what I need to do is establish a better approach to performing research. Which gives me an idea for another story to write.

Draft Update

In the past week the total number of drafts I have has not changed. It still stands at 113 in total. However, I have added three additional drafts.

The reason for no change to the total is the article I published this week came from the drafts initially. I also identified two drafts that were no longer needed as they were duplicate ideas almost the same as other drafts.

I have two drafts rather near completion I hope to publish in the next week. One discussed donations around the Australian Bushfires in early 2020 and is almost 2,000 words. While the other related to a topic around online communities and is just under 1,000 words. These are my first priorities in the next couple of days before starting any new stories.

Where does your writing find you this Monday? Have you achieved your goals in the past week, or still fighting your own demons trying to put words to the page.

I look forward to continuing to share my writing journey with you next week.