By The Numbers
This is probably more appropriate for a simple “Ask the Twitterverse”, but this way I can make it more than 140 characters since there’s some follow-up…
Writers: What numbers do you track with regard to your writing?
I listen to podcasts where they interview writers and a lot of them mention at least something related to word count goals. I also read 2k to 10k: Writing Better, Writing Faster, and Writing More of What You Love, and Rachel Aaron talks about how she tracked her time and writing output fairly meticulously (at least for a period of several months).
I also get more obsessed with numbers during NaNoWriMo and also when it gets toward the end of the year and I have a lot of numbers to work with.
Anyway… Here are the raw and/or calculated numbers that I try to track on a year-to-year basis:
- Total words for the year
- Average words per day
- Average words per week
- Highest word count day (and date) during the year
- Highest word count week (and date) during the year (as kind of a back-of-the-napkin analysis of productive times)
- Words per individual project (since I’m usually working on 2-3 things during the year)
- Total words in November (for NaNoWriMo, obviously – to compare to previous years)
- Word count by week (I forgot to do this for 2013, but it seems like a good way to identify productivity patterns and use that to enhance my scheduling)
Besides tracking numbers to be able to do retrospective analysis, I also use them during the year (along with some basic spreadsheet functions) to calculate things like:
- Words needed per day to hit goals (~111,000 words this year)
- Words needed per day to match last year’s total
- Words remaining until 1,000,000 written total (since March 2011)
- Current average per day and current average per week
It’s always fun at the beginning of the year when a big day of writing pushes my average to numbers that are totally unattainable on a year-long basis… or at the end of the year when a similar day cuts down the number of words needed to hit my goals like a Hammer of Dawn tearing through a Berserker. (Can you tell I haven’t played video games recently? I should have a GTA or Destiny related metaphor here…)
Is there anything else I’m missing that other people keep track of?
Posted on December 20, 2014, in Blog, Writing Stuff and tagged NaNoWriMo, Writing. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on By The Numbers.