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the REALLY boring stuff

I decided to go back to some very detailed tracking on my writing time, both to keep myself honest and accountable and not screw around on the internet all the time, and also to see HOW I'm writing when I'm trying to keep consistent but not performing at a brutal, NaNoWriMoish sort of pace.

The month of February was really good, accomplishment-wise: I finished a novel, started another, got some short stories back into the mix, and otherwise kept up a steady pace--which, while not record-breaking, was also not neck-breaking.

Week 1: Feb 3-Feb 7 (half-week)
Total writing/editing time: 9 hours
Total writing-business time: 2 hours
Total (dedicated) research time: 4 hours
Night I couldn't do anything: Thursday

Week 2: Feb 8-Feb 14
Total writing/editing time: 12 hours
Total writing-business time: 2 hours?
Night I could seem to do anything: Thursday
Night I chose not to do anything: Friday (for Valentines)

Week 3: Feb 15-Feb 21
Total writing/editing time: 16 hours and change
Total writing-business time: 2 hours
And critique group met on Wednesday, so time spent critiquing & reading: 6 hours
Nights I chose not to do anything: Thursday (guinea pig died); Friday

Week 4: Feb 22-Feb 28
Total writing/editing time: 12 hours
Total writing-business time: .5 hours
Nights I didn't write: 0
Nights I didn't write for more than 15 minutes: Friday and Saturday

So, just shy of 50 hours of writing/editing (basically, crammed a full work-week in there); plus the related time spent (another day and a half, or 14.5 hours). On top of my 40-hour work week, painting my office, and keeping the house from falling down? No wonder I'm tired alla time. And this was in no way a low-stress month, dead pets not being the least of it.

(And now we have a guinea pig peeing blood. So. Tonight's not shaking out so great either, you know?)

I haven't quite tallied up how many words I wrote, and even if I did, I wouldn't get a fair estimate of my hourly rate, since I pretty much count editing and writing time in one lump. I seem to be shaking down at my usual rate of 500-800 words an hour, depending on the kind of writing I'm doing. But I probably chucked out 25,000-30,000 fresh words this month. Since I'm rewriting a project from the ground up, that counts as writing, right, and not editing??

(Guinea pig, btw, whimpers whenever he tries to pee. And then sort of screams. So, this is highly relaxing and exactly the sort of environment one likes to write in. He's sitting with me because my office is most conducive to keeping an eye on him.)

(Oy, vey.)


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 2nd, 2010 02:50 am (UTC)
re: pig
crap. that sucks. vet tomorrow?
Mar. 2nd, 2010 02:54 am (UTC)
Yep. They open at 8, so I think we'll be there... at 8. Emergency vet for the small fry is in Novi, and he's not lethargic, so we'll hope waiting until morning doesn't bite us in the ass. It's probably bladder stones, maybe a UTI.
Mar. 2nd, 2010 04:21 am (UTC)
Whoa. I've been playing with the idea of doing this, but I haven't wanted to because I think I'd be ashamed of myself.

Question...how do you account for er...throat clearing as you call it? Or the moments when you stop, get up, walk around, and then come back to it? (or do you not do that? I'll go and go and go...and then I'll get up five times in the middle or get distracted for fifteen minutes and come back to it...I almost need to.)
Mar. 2nd, 2010 04:38 am (UTC)
I count from the time I close my browser window and stop throat clearing, but I DO count all the ancillary stuff that happens in the middle--tea-making, bathroom breaks, oops-I-have-an-email-that-looks-not-dull. But I try to treat it like my dayjob and keep interruptions limited or at least brief.

For my first year of Gettin' Serious, I did track all of this stuff, down to word-count and exactly what project I was working on and for how many minutes, in a spreadsheet. Even calculated out my hourly rates to the nth degree.

In part, it was to just benchmark myself--what's a reasonable amount of work to expect from myself in an hour? I paid less attention to how many hours I was actually able to be productive, which is just as important...

I don't think it's necessary for any/everyone. It helps my brain to keep track, though, and to know how I work, so that I can tell when something is off.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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