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A photo of a planner with three pens side by side.

Here at the Story Factory, we value quantity over quality. . 

. More words, more hours, more stories. The goal is 52 stories at the end of the year. So far, we are on target. Which, I know, isn’t much to say at this point of the year, but on the other hand, this time last year, I was already behind. So, Wednesdays, we will report production and celebrate the little victories.

Wednesday 1/13/2021 Production Report:

Words for the week 1/6—1/12 11,937

Hours for the week 1/6-1/13 32

Cumulative through 1/12

Words – 24,099

Hours  – 67

That includes Morning pages each day, prewriting on either the week’s story or the novel that I am re-writing, and this blog. I only count the short story once, so there is the total for that, and I don’t count the blog on Story Sunday. 

Hours are still a bit behind to make the 168.5 per month quota, but I have a day off for Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday next week and that day should help.  The ~12,000 words per week means I am well on my way to a 624,000 word year. For a site dedicated to quantity, more than half a million words a year doesn’t suck.

This week’s short story is in progress. I am really hoping to have a full draft done tonight, but at the moment I am reading a friend’s novel draft and writing some comments about it. Yes, including those hours and words in next week’s production report, as it is what I deem creative work. And since I am the arbiter of what is creative work, I am good with it.

I did make another change this month, and while I could wait and talk about it on a Tool Time Tuesday post, I think it makes more sense to talk about it here. My morning pages tools of choice have been Cambridge professional spiral notebooks and Papermate Profile pens. The Cambridge notebooks are actually 9×11, and that half inch, combined with the college ruled lines, means that there is more space. 

I first found the Profile pens when I was employed as a Conservatorship worker with Child Protective Services. I was picking up a newborn from a hospital to bring to a foster home and had about five thousand documents to sign with the nursery nurse. I pulled out my trusty pen (can’t remember what I was using then) and she brushed it away, saying that the hospital required ball point pens, not gel pens. I shrugged and took the pen she offered. (It was definitely pre-COVID and also pre-H1N1, truth be told.) It was love at first scritch. The huge 1.4 ball, the smooth ink, it flowed cleanly on the page, through all the copies needed with absolutely no smearing. 

Naturally, after I dropped the child off in a near by town, I stopped at the local Target (ever the Target-eer) and found a pack of four. I bough three packs and never looked back. They became my go to for morning pages, for my regular non computer work at the day job, and when I changed jobs, my Papermate Profiles came with me, and since the new job had the opportunity to use my beloved pens in ALL THE COLORS.  Seriously, this was ten years ago. So for ten years, I have kept the Papermate Profile pen division in business, even including them in my Amazon subscriptions. 

Until that fateful day a week or so ago. I was listening to the Best Laid Plans podcast, and the guest mentioned her favorite pens. As I needed a finer tip for my Wonderland 222 planner and notebook and not particularly feeling the love for the Pilot G-2 .38 that everyone recommended, this guest mentioned the Pilot Juice .38. It’s a fine nibbed gel pen, but the smoothness, is remarkable. And (the main point of the diversion) when combined with my giant Cambridge notebooks, the word count for morning pages is 75-100 words higher. Prettier pages and more words? Count me in. 

(No affiliate links and no pens were harmed in the production of this blog.)