Lifetime word count

How many words have I written in my life?

Perhaps the most obvious answer is “Who the hell cares?” but we’ll skip over that one for now. I got to thinking about this a while back, and I started to do a little digging and a little math. Here’s what I came up with.

This count does not include “utility” writing such as emails, writings for school, etc. This is only for things that I wrote because I’m a writerish person.

Here we go. Numbers in italics are approximate.

47,132 — Transfer of Power, my first novel (using the term loosely)

108,681Second Sun (a.k.a. The Encircling Wall), my second novel

111,089 — The Counterfeit Emperor, my third novel — all these are unpublished

59,992 — Early version of The Crane Girl — this first draft has the same title as my current novel-in-progress, but it’s so completely different that it qualifies as a separate story

127,000 — The Crane Girl, my fourth novel, still in revision

18,000 — Pandora’s Gift, a novella, essentially a giant in-joke for my friend Pat

25,112 — The Desirable Man Who Entered a Relationship with the Heroine Despite Occasional Setbacks Described Herein, a novella, essentially a giant in-joke for my friend Ben

(Links to most of the above can be found here.)

2,505 — Why Didn’t You Tell Me?, my first Buffy fan fic. I would be embarrassed of it if I weren’t so proud of it.

10,855Impossible, my second Buffy fan fic. Essentially a brand-new episode, in prose.

28,141 — The Witch and the Dragon, a Buffy fan fic novella. IMO, one of the very best things I’ve ever written (fan fic or otherwise).

6,115Summers’ Fall,Buffy episode from season 5 that I converted into a Shakespearean tragedy. Took a long time, but 100% worth it.

6,569Alvennore, a weird sci fi story I wrote a while back.

10,000 — All other short stories combined (rough estimate). I’ve written a lot, but most were pretty short.

4,348Haiku 365, a challenge from my mom that I completed throughout 2015: write a haiku per day (on average) for a whole year.

5,000 — All other poems combined (rough estimate). Again, I’ve written a ton of poems, but word count is generally low.

That’s a subtotal of 570,370 for creative writing overall.

Besides that, I’ve been keeping a journal since 2003, with each year in a separate document. Length varies enormously. Some years are as big as full-length novels (2006 holds the record, at 97,526) whereas others dip down into four digits. But the total, as of today, is 553,199.

All that together, grand total: 1,123,569. About 1.1 million words.

There’s a saying that every writer has a million words of crap inside them, and the sooner they get it out, the sooner they can move on to better things. If that’s true, Crane Girl might just fly after all.

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