Monthly Writing Report for October 2020

By Kimberly


While today’s technically November (and part of NaNoWriMo), it’s still time to take a look back over how things unfolded for writing during the month of October. I’ll be counting both blogging writing and fiction writing for NaNoWriMo this year. Because no matter how you slice it, they’re two sides of writing – and even then, there are more ways to write than just these two! So let’s take a look at October.

image of maple leaves on a rustic wooden background

October Quick Statistics

In the month of October, here’s what I wrote, filmed, and/or published.

  • Articles: 4 (they were each pretty long, though! One of them was north of 8100 words long and required a good deal of original research)
  • Videos filmed, edited, and published: 13
  • Stories written: 0
  • Stories submitted to publications: also 0
  • Stories edited: 1
  • New stories outlined and plotted: 1
  • Total Page Views: 25,082 (up from 19,475)
  • Total on-hand cash earned (from last month’s ad revenue and previous month’s affiliate revenue finally paid-out this month): $282.35
  • Overall EPMP: $11.26. This is down from last month’s reported $12.99, although it’s up from the adjusted EPMP of $11.06.

Total word count written (with each video counting as a standard, 2,000 words per video) was 40,869. That doesn’t include any outlining or worldbuilding notes this time, as it’s not yet to my liking. I’ll count it when it’s more polished and closer to being done, because I’m a recovering perfectionist.

15th Month with Project 24 Membership

This month marked my 15th month with Project 24. It’s been a wild ride. Given that I’ve got four projects going (including this one), I guess I oughtn’t to be surprised that I haven’t been able to stick to the recommended writing schedule. I’ve been close for many months. But other months (like this one), I fall short. After all, I did only write 4 articles this month. Length alone doesn’t offset the number of articles.

Even so, I really liked what I started last month, which is seeing what my overall ROI on this course has been so far. For a quick recap, here are last month’s stats.

  • Investment Fees to Date (September 2020): $648
  • Cash on-hand earned that’s solely attributed to Project 24 (as of September 2020): $2914
  • ROI: a 4.5X multiplier

Now, just because I’m curious, let’s add in October’s numbers and see what the ROI is. Don’t worry – I’ll do the math. I’m just providing my numbers in case you want to math-check me. I am a writer, but I do try to be able to do basic mathematics. 🙂

  • Investment fees to date (October 2020): still $648 – I won’t have to pay another set of membership dues until August 2021.
  • Cash on-hand earned that’s solely attributed to Project 24: $3196.35
  • ROI: $3196.35/$648 is 4.932638… let’s call it a 4.9X multiplier.

So in one month, I’ve upped the multiplier from a 4.5 to a 4.9. Not too shabby!

Now, you may notice that I keep saying “cash on-hand” – what’s that mean? It means that I use a cash-based accounting system. A lot of bloggers will report what money they earned that month, even if they won’t get it paid out to them for several months.

While that’s a totally cool way to do it, that kind of math would drive me personally crazy. I’d be constantly trying to figure things out and second-guessing myself. So for me, it’s far easier to simply report the money I’ve been paid and actually have.

It does mean that my numbers won’t ever look as fancy (or high) as other bloggers’ numbers do. But it also means I don’t need to break my head on numbers – I can report what I’ve got, not worry about the rest, and get on with my writing. So I’ll call it a win.

Now it’s time to look at the deeper analysis.

October’s Analysis

A month after a writing challenge has started becoming a bit of a “recovery” month. After all, a writing challenge month is intensive and draining. Even so, I still try to hit a few basic marks while still letting my brain (and fingers) recover a bit from all of the focused writing.

So here’s the breakdown of writing and publishing for each site.

  • – I wrote one super-duper-long article for this site. Seriously. It’s just shy of 8200 words. Lots of data, tables, and lists. Also, it’s a stinking thorough article. So even though it was just a single article, I don’t feel bad about it. 8200 words is a week’s worth of work, even for some accomplished authors.
  • – Breanne and I got one article finished and published. She’s got two other articles for me to polish up, now that she’s finished the initial research. Those are next on my to-write list. We still haven’t heard back from RootsTech about whether or not we’ll be speaking. But given the pandemic-related change in the conference format for next year, I’m only happy to cut them some slack. Reorganizing a huge conference into a digital-only event isn’t an easy task (or so I imagine).
  • – I finished an article for this site. It was a relatively short article – only about 1700 words long. But I still tried to make it a thorough, complete, and helpful guide.

Now let’s do a breakdown of the 13 videos I created and published last month.

  • BackyardHomesteadHQ (YouTube Channel) – 11 of the 13 videos I created this month were for this channel. Of those, 10 were published in October. The last one will publish later today, but I did schedule it and everything before October officially ended, so I’m counting it as part of October’s work.
  • Kimberly C. Starr (YouTube Channel) – 2 of the 13 videos created were for this channel. It’s still very much a growing channel, and it’s been fun, hard, and rewarding.

Now, you may be wondering how each site did on the monetary front. Here’s that breakdown.

SitePercentage of IncomeIncome Sources
BackyardHomesteadHQ22.6%Ad and affiliate revenue
GenealogyPals0.7%Ad revenue
KimberlyCStarr26.4%Ad and affiliate revenue
SleepTrainingKids50.3%Ad and affiliate Revenue

Why percentages? It’s a nice way to see how diversification (of both websites and topics) is helping me. This is the data I need to make sure that I’m not putting all of my (virtual) eggs into one basket.* And as of right now, most of my eggs are still in sleep training. But for next month? I’ve already got the ad revenue income numbers – and I think things are balancing out better. I’m excited.

Why the asterisk (*) in the last paragraph? Easy: isn’t only mine or my effort alone. That site is a joint effort between myself and my dear friend Breanne. That basket is holding two people’s eggs if we’re going to continue with the egg basket analogy. So I thought an asterisk was needed to clarify this point.

On another side note – if you want to see the actual numbers, I’ve already given you October’s total earlier in this article (it was $282.35) and now you have the percentage of each – so figuring out how much each site earned isn’t hard. It just needs a little bit of math.

Fiction Updates

Why no new stories written this month? Several reasons.

The first (and most important) is that my outlining hit a bit of a brick wall. I’ve been trying to get past it, but I’ve realized that I lack the necessary tools to do so. So instead of panicking about how I don’t know enough, I’ve been doing the research and learning required to polish my storytelling craft.

In other words, I’ve shelved that idea (for now) while I continue to learn and listen to podcasts. I’ve been continuing to love listening to Writing Excuses.

I’ve also been listening to Stephen King’s “On Writing,” although the amount of swearing makes listening off-putting. I understand that my sensibilities on swearing may seem outdated, old-fashioned, or even prudish, but it is what it is. I’m trying to get from it what I can, but at the quarter-through mark, I’ll admit that I’m struggling.

Second, it’s a slush-reading season. I’ve loved being a slush reader for Deep Magic (they call us “First Readers”). It’s an amazing learning opportunity to see and read bulk quantities of science fiction and fantasy.

This lets me sit down and read a ton – and by reading, I get a front-row seat to see what makes the difference between good, not-yet-publishable, and amazing storytelling.

Third, I’m finding (via the podcasts and my own experience) that it’s really hard to skip those million words of practice writing before you’re publishable. That’s not to say that someone can’t skip a few of them. But I am finding the Writing Excuses’ advice of “just write it, even if it’s bad. You can always edit it later!” (I’m paraphrasing) to be solid.

So yes, I’m dealing with that “recovering perfectionist” self-image while I write bad fiction. Even then, it’s hard to remember that I can sculpt the less-awesome fiction into good fiction with edits.

Finally, October was a rest and recovery from the September writing challenge – as well as a preparation for NaNoWriMo. So I wanted to take things slow and steady – because the turtle wins the race. Even if the turtle does take regular spurts via writing challenges. 🙂

So progress is happening – even if it’s not visible to you. Then again, you’re probably (and rightfully) glad that you get to skip the boring parts of this. But if you don’t (hey, perhaps you also want to be a writer!) – at least you have these monthly writing reports (and my YouTube channel) to help you see behind the curtain.

Final Thoughts on October 2020

This has been a weird, weird year brought to you by our very-fake sponsor, Coronavirus (Covid-19). My kids were upset that we skipped trick-or-treating this year. Don’t worry – we bought them plenty of candy and had a small, safe, family party.

But if you’re at all wanting to know about creating your own passive income (with passive meaning you do a lot of work and see it exponentially grow, almost like royalties with a great author who’s publishing a lot of books), then you’ll definitely want to check out Income School’s Project 24. It’s been totally worth it in my book.

Just as I said last month, it’s been the best course I’ve taken. And to date, it’s been the only course to be on track to pass muster – with muster meaning that it gives you a 10X ROI within a year of finishing the course.

Even then, I’m only 14/24 months through the course, so I’m at 14/36 of the way to being where I need to make a final determination. And I’m already at a 4.9X ROI. So I think it’s safe to say I’m on the right track. The next-closest course didn’t get past a 2.88X ROI.

From there, it’s time to get back to writing. NaNoWriMo isn’t going to write itself. But if you do want to follow along, you can go to my NaNoWriMo profile by clicking here.

But doing a monthly analysis has proven to be very helpful. Sure, it takes a little bit of time to do the analysis. But it helps me see where I am, where I’m going, and it helps keep me focused. So it’s proving quite valuable. I think I’ll keep it up for the time being. In any case, I’ll see you all soon – and I’d love to have you follow along via YouTube (click here to go there) if videos are your jam. If not, I highly recommend you join the newsletter – that way, you can stick with written updates.

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