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WEDAY - December Stats.. and Done!
This month's word count: 54862. Full project word count: 647685. Success!

At the beginning of this project, I had no idea what to expect in terms of writing volue. I thought I might want to write a little more than crisper, but I wasn't sure how much that would be. I figured if I could write a thousand words a day I would be lucky. Obviously, that proved to be insufficient for the kind of writing I wanted to do. After the first month I figured it would be easy to do 60k words a month, leading to me ending at 720k total. Obviously that was too ambitious. About 50k words and some change seemed to be a comfortable amount to write in a typical month. Given that in this same interval I held down a full-time job requiring attention far outside the 9 to 5 schedule, managed to stay married, and managed to still have kids who love me and friends who don't hate me, I feel pretty good about this.

When I set out to do this project, I knew I wanted to achieve some things. One, I wanted to have the good feeling that I sometimes get when I write something worth writing and reading. I hadn't done much of that in 2010, and I felt its absence. I think I did okay here; even though it was not an explicit objective to generate good stories, I felt there were a number of moments where I'll still like the finished product, even after I go back and read everything through and do my ritual cringing and self-flagellation.

Two, I wanted to see if I could do it. Here I have to give a giant shout-out to crisper. About eighteen years ago I publicly said "hey we should do this stupid thing" And then Dan said "yeah this could be stupid awesome we should totally do it" And then I said "Holy cow, we could seriously do this stupid crazy shit, we might actually pull it off!" And then Dan said "JESUS IT IS GOING TO HAPPEN, ISN'T IT!" And then I said "YEAH MOTHERFUCKER YEAH, WE ARE TOO STUPID NOT TO DO THIS INCREDIBLY, DANGEROUSLY STUPID THING!!" So we did something stupid, because we didn't know enough to know that sensible people wouldn't do something like that, and indeed it was stupid, but also awesome, and on my deathbed I will be grinning and nodding to myself about that one time when Dan and I talked each other into great, yet satisfying, stupidity. So when Dan did something else stupid yet awesome by writing every day in 2010, there was really no chance in the world that I wasn't going to do it too. Dan and I are friends, even though years go by where we don't exchange email, precisely because our heads dwell in a similar sick headspace, and because our sick efforts make each other better. Some day I am going to jump off a bridge, and Dan is going to do it too, not because I told him to do it, but because he will be certain that he can jump to his death better and more stylishly than I can, and he'll be right, and my mangled remains will say to his mangled remains, "...best two out of three?"

Three, I wanted to get better at writing. I have succeeded at this in an unexpected way. I don't think the mechanics of my writing have improved. I do think that I have gotten better at writing in bulk. In 2010, you could have told me "write fifty thousand words on a topic. Go." And I would have not known how to proceed. I now know how to proceed. I am likely to not *want* to write you fifty thousand words, but gun to my head, I know I can do it, probably in under a month. I have gotten much, much better at this. I have also gotten very good at committing to writing. I was mostly on time in meeting the deadline, and when I was late, I was not more than an hour or two late in all but a handful of situations. I managed to keep writing when I was vacationing, when I was sick, when I was miserable, when I was drunk, and when I was distracted by a thousand little things. I feel good about that.

Four, I wanted to amuse my friends. My friends are often amused when I write. I like this; it makes me cackle. This year I feel like I have amused my friends often. I also feel that I have made many new friends, and they have been amused too. That's pretty cool.

So, all in all, I feel like I achieved my goals for this project. As mentioned in earlier postings, my goal is not to publish anything, although I reserve the right to change my mind on this subject later. I write because I love to write, and I am certain that writing for publication would suck the joy out of this. So, I don't think you'll be seeing a WEDAY book any time soon. I'll let you know if this changes.

What next? I don't know. I suspect I will not write for a while. Frankly, for 2012 I'm making it a priority to catch up on my health. I'm very out of shape and have a number of health problems that will not get better unless I step up my efforts to live a healthy life. I feel that I can put just a quarter of the energy into exercise and proper eating/drinking as I have put into this project, then I can make dramatic improvements in the quality of my life. That's just as worthwhile as feeling good about writing.

But I'm sure I'll write again, probably sooner than later. I love it too much. So watch this space, and hopefully I'll be amusing my friends again before too much longer.

Thank you so much to everybody for your support! I am especially indebted to those persons (you know who you are) who sent me edits, either through comments or by email, so I could fix things that were stupid. I must also thank my wife and kids; I'll be paying a lot more attention to you in 2012, believe me.

Thanks, everybody! Woohoo! Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year, and Thank You.

And yes, please, by all and any means necessary, do take care of your health; the world is a GOOD place with you in it. If you'd like some thoughts or reading suggestions related to nutrition, let me know and I'll drop you a line.

Congrats on pulling through the whole year. And thanks for all the entertainment.

You've been an inspiration to me, maybe even to the extent of getting off my arse again and doing some more writing.

Congratulations! I enjoyed your output terribly, and I hope to write more myself in the coming year.

Well done, sir. I will look forward to your future slip-ups where you accidentally write more Jackpot and Lopez stories, and accidentally publish them on LJ.

Congrats! That's a hell of a lot of writing.

Here's to your project to become more awesome will going even better than this did.

I have enjoyed this year and the previous year and have been totally spoiled by this back-to-back project. Can't you guys sucker a third friend into this? And then a fourth? I only wish I could write this much in one year. I'd have several books behind me instead of one half-finished.

You are so right, exercise helps so many different health problems and I have no doubt if you put the same consistency of effort into that you will see great improvements.

Happy New Year to you and your family.

>Can't you guys sucker a third friend into this?

I'm pretty sure that I have it in writing from a mutual friend of Andy and me, that if Andy finished 2011, he would take 2012, but there are other factors that have arisen since then that would make that promise difficult to keep. Maybe 2013.

I'll look forward to it. Meanwhile, just posting about this project has inspired a friend to increase her writing so it's having a ripple effect. :)

Congratulations and thank you!

Frickin' amazing. *toasts*

Very nicely done! I will admit I often skipped your longer stories, but I've always had the plan to go back and read them carefully.

And glad to hear your new focus will be on your health. If this project is any indicator, that will go stupdendously as well.

Thank you. Happy New Years.

Thoroughly enjoyed the year, and I wish there were a third person to take up the mantle now that you and Dan have both put it down. Livejournal isn't going to be as much fun next year.

(I wish I could *be* the third person, but I know myself too well to make the promise. There are things I could do every day for a year without fail, but writing stories isn't one of them--my muse is too dilatory.)

I always look(ed) forward to your posts. I didn't comment often, but I read almost everything. Thanks so much for making LJ a still-awesome place.

I hope you'll blog about your health stuff (within your comfort zone, of course); there are a bunch of us who are starting to feel our age a bit and the mutual encouragement and community would work wonders.

Happy 2012!

Congratulations. I envy your resolve but even moreso revel in reading your remarkable works.

Right now, I'm a young Edward James Olmos standing next to my spinner and you are Harrison Ford in the rain, only there's no replicant Rachel that you have to run off to worriedly save and I'm no good at origami. But, You've Done a Man's Job, Sir, anyway.

Congratulations and thank you for a year of some really fine writing. Rest, work out, get back in shape, and have another go in 2013!

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