Yesterday, I hit the three hundred day point in my writing streak – breaking my previous record by one hundred and one days. I wish I could say I hit such a significant milestone with a spectacular flourish but this week’s word count has been pretty low so far and I limped across the line with a meagre 454 words.
Here’s a graph of what those three hundred days look like.
(Click for a bigger version)
The blue line is the number of words per day. It’s a bit spikey so I’ve added a seven day rolling average (the red line) to give a better sense of my general productivity. There’s clearly 4-5 blocks of time where I increased my productivity and a patch around the middle of the streak where my daily word count was consistently low. The green line is the overall total number of words.
I ended up writing 199,407 words. That comes to 665 words a day which is down slightly from the 150 day mark (681 words per day) and the 100 day point (737 words per day). That’s probably due to the fact that I’m spending a lot of time revising which doesn’t contribute a lot of words to the total. Had I known how close I was to breaking 200,000 words I’d have put in a bit of extra time somewhere along the line.
This graph shows the total time I spent writing, broken down by the type of writing I was doing – outlining, new material, rewriting or revising. Looking at the top block of colour, you can clearly see where I started revising The Ghost Smuggler.
The total time spent writing was 12 days, 8 hours, 22 minutes which comes out at 59 minutes per day at an average of 673 words per hour which is slightly up from the ominous 666 words an hour I managed for the first 150 days.
Most of those three hundred days were spent on two novels – The Ghost Smuggler rewrite and Glitch Mitchell and the Unseen Planet. I did fit in nine new short stories:
- The Princess (150 words)
- The Mirror (283 words)
- Lifeboat (205 words)
- The Bone Boy (4,513 words)
- Saviour (4,920 words)
- In the Shadow of Memories (5,136 words)
- Clockwork Girl (984 words)
- Twelve Things You Need to Know About Merfolk (991 words)
- Immersion Therapy (3000 words)
Plus a couple that I haven’t finished yet. The first three were flash pieces written for a course run by Carrie Currin and are unlikely to see print, The Bone Boy was published. The others are in my submission pile.
So, I’m writing less words per day but at a slightly faster rate. I now have 65 days until I hit the one year mark. At the moment I’m on track to reach 242,611 words by that point. That’s not too shabby but 250,000 would be even better so I’m going on record to say that’s my goal. To do that I’ll need to up my word count a little over the next couple of months but I have some short stories and a new novel planned which should make that achievable. I just need to get this second draft of The Ghost Smuggler out of the way.
[Three Hundred Days of Writing by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 26th April 2014]