Goals and Statistics

I want to be more productive. Honest. I want to be able to churn out stories and books. I really do.

The problem is that even though I take the writing seriously like a real “job,” it’s not like factory work. You can’t just flip a switch and roar through one project and then start another and on and on… without fallow periods.

Writing is an organic and holistic process. I’m not sure what those words might mean to you readers, but to me they mean that the writing process involves periods of “thinking,” worrying over plot details, hours of research, and plain old fallow periods when a writer’s mind continues to solve writing problems in the background while life is lived in the foreground almost “normally.”

An example: I prefer to write first thing in the mornings. I can usually get in several hours before I have to go function in the “real” world. This morning my writing session was interrupted by two friends and a mimosa brunch at a great local restaurant. I returned home and watched Star Trek: Voyager episodes. Great stuff, even though it doesn’t produce any noticeable word count. But the “time off” is needed for the mind to work on its own without being pushed.

I had a great four day writing sprint on my current novel. I cranked out almost 5,000 words over the four days. At approximately 250 words per printed page in the final 6×9 inch book, that comes to 20 pages. If I want to produce a 90,000 word novel, and if all systems are functioning at optimum levels (Star Trek jargon), it should only take me about 2.4 months to complete a first draft. I did a bit of calculation and here’s a table I worked up:

Avg #
Words Per Day

Final Length

Writing Days

Months

1250

100,000

80

2.6667

1250

90,000

72

2.4

1250

85,000

68

2.2667

1250

80,000

64

2.1333

1250

6,000

4.8

0.16

Wow! If I only had the energy, could live without sleep, had a plot, didn’t have to do any research or go out and work for a living… but I don’t. And now, at 73, my time is short and I want to leave a sizeable pile of paper behind me when I leave this earth. My one major regret is that I didn’t take my fiction writing more seriously earlier in life. It looks like I’m going die a famous unknown author. Ha! Joke’s on me.

 

 

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