My Work Writer Life & Lessons

Weekend WIP #2: Keeping Track of Projects

NANOWRIMO 013Many writers find ways to procrastinate from actual writing, and I’m certainly one of them.

Finishing Average

My most recent affliction is completing statistics about my projects; beginning with Chuck Wendig‘s Finishing Average. This is the number of finished novels, divided by the number of novels overall.

As I’ve not started TFG yet, this is 5/9 = 0.56.

Now though, I’ve stretched further, looking at each project in turn; creating a chart of the novel, draft, status and percentage completed. It makes me feel rather accomplished to see everything in progress and completed.

Novel 1 (2009)                            1: Shelved                                100%

Novel 2 (2010-2013)           1: For Redrafting                             50%

Novel 3 (2010-2014)           3: For Redrafting                             30%

Novel 4 (2011)                            1: Shelved                             100%

Novel 5 (2012-2014)                7: Rewritten                              100%

Novel 6 (2012)                            1: For Editing                        100%

Novel 7 (2013)                            1: Shelved                             30%

Novel 8 (2013)                            1: For Completion                  40%

Novel 9 (2014)                            1: Rewritten – Editing             100%

Novel 10 (2014)                            Planning                             0%

Using this method, I can see I have finished over half of the novels I’ve started, and have 4 projects awaiting more work (not bad out of 9) which is a nice little reminder.

Words Per Day

Adding all the daily word counts and dividing by 181 days (6 months), I wrote 527 wpd. Considering I wanted to write 429 each day from April — the fact I’ve surpassed that even across the three months I didn’t have that goal — well, I felt pretty smug when I found out.

And what’s more motivating than surpassing your own expectations?

Number of Drafts

This is a tricky one for me. Do I count those Shelved, one draft stories? Do I count every edit before I then re-write?

Looking at the number of word documents I have for Planes Shifter (in all it’s forms, right from the first spat out beginning I then erased), I think I have something like 24 documents of attempted story for that one project written. However, if we’re talking major overhauls where the story has shifted due to actual editing, we’re looking at 6 or 7 main versions.

This is part of my reasoning behind planning TFG in so much depth; to limit the required redrafts.

Words of Novel Written

A few months ago I saw a comment about someone “having written over a million words of fiction”, which got me wondering about my own ‘experience’ in terms of wordcount. So I went back to each of my nine novel attempts, and counted one draft of each (usually the most recent version, since I’d count that as fairly okay quality writing). My score at the end of June?

564,000 words.  Not including the half-drafts (or 23 previous versions), short stories, flash fiction, articles or blog posts.

How do you keep track of your progress as a writer?

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