Statistics FTW

Now that I’ve started my next novel I’ve been logging a bit more information about my writing than I did the last time. Whereas before I only kept track of word count by chapter (and only to see how much I was cutting during editing) now I have a spreadsheet made up where I’m recording all kinds of useful information on my daily writing habits. Word count, time of day, location, which scene I was working on, it’s all getting documented. And I’m starting to notice some patterns.

While I try to write whenever I have a bit of time, I’m far, far more productive in the evening than I am in the morning. Literally twice as much. And trying to write in the afternoon, when my kids are home, is pretty much pointless. I also get a lot done – A LOT – if I go and sit in a coffee shop alone for awhile. (I did this last night and wrote more than 2,500 words in about two hours, which while not impressive for some, is a lot better than my average, especially when there are people to watch and eavesdrop on). That doesn’t mean I’m going to give up writing in the mornings or when I also have to entertain the littles, but I am going to go easier on myself from now on when I feel like I should have gotten more done.

I also notice that my chapters (all three of them so far) are shorter in this book than they were with the last. They averaged just about 5,000 words in The Unravelling, but in the Unseeing they’re just over 3,000. I’ll have to write a little further before I can see how this affects the pacing, but so far, I like it.

And, some early numbers are in:

Not too shabby for seven (non-consecutive) days of work! I wish I’d kept track of all this info before so I could see if I’m keeping pace with last time. I would guess I’m going faster. Having an outline is helping to keep me organized a lot.

If you’re at all interested, this is what I was listening to at the cafe last night while I was writing:

Poor Callie and Matthieu. Most of the time I think she’d be the one singing it to him, but then I’ll listen to it again and change my mind.

I’ve got six sentences scheduled to post tomorrow. Enjoy and happy weekend!

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~ by Nicole Bross on February 2, 2013.

3 Responses to “Statistics FTW”

  1. Hi Nicole!
    Nice progress! I think what you’ve done in incorporating the circumstances of your writing progress is wonderful, as we need to keep track of not only when we write “best” or most productively, but also where. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it ;-)), I am also not one of these people who can write in the mornings, and forget about the afternoons, but evenings, especially after everything has wound down, and into the wee hours of the night, work best for some reason. I guess the mind tries to tell us what works for it and we have to listen rather than forcing it to do something else that we think is “better” or more productive ;-)

    • I agree! I’ve always been a night owl so it’s not much of a hardship to start writing at 10pm most nights. I hope I don’t get to the point where I’m over-analyzing everything, trying to find the ‘perfect’ time and place, but right now I’m finding it interesting! Ultimately any words on the page is progress in my book. :)

  2. Hi Nicole :-)
    I did some night-writing this evening, which was a long time coming! lol
    Methinks the sooner we as writers let ourselves know that there’s never going to be a ‘perfect’ time and place for writing, the better (I’m definitely guilty of being one of those writers who was always like ‘Okay, so when x goes away and x is done, and y is over, THEN I will be able to write!’ lol), and that ultimately, as you say, words on the page mark our all-important progress :-)

I wrote, now you write.

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