Here they sit, the stats that can tell me if I achieved my goals? On the other hand, they can’t tell me if I’ve improved or not, because I couldn’t do this with any certainty in 2013 (though I do have estimates and I’ll get those in a little bit).
I’m going to list the rough numbers from this year and then run them against my numbers from 2013, with some tangential commentary. And lots of statistics. Baseball nerd here…
Hours Writing: 344
Word Count: 89,605
Books Read: 18
After some thought, I realize that this is a baseline. I’ve never recorded my exact statistics in 2013, though I can make some inferences based on things that I know to have happened.
First, I had surgery on my left thumb in March of 2013, which effectively stopped my writing for two months.
Second, I know that I rewrote massive portions of my manuscript, completing a draft just the day prior to said surgery (March 29th, 2013). I also I know which sections of my manuscript were rewritten and when. So, in 2013, I wrote (roughly) this many words: 178995
Also, for the 9 months I was unemployed, I effectively made reading and writing my full time job, roughly 30 hours a week (writing). Reading is… something else. And, technically, a full-time job is 32.5 hours a week or more.
I know that I was unemployed for roughly 9 months, with two of those months unavailable for writing. The surgery was on my dominant hand, which is my left hand. Then I started work and essentially quit writing for the remainder of 2013 as I readjusted to a 40-hour work week, 2 hours of travel time, and, well, I moved. Anyway…
That leaves me with 30 weeks, where according to my estimates, I worked 560 hours on writing, which is about 18.6 hours a week.
So, compare that to this year:
- Words 2013: 178,995
- Words 2014: 89,605
- Books Read 2013: 59
- Books Read 2014: 18
- Hours Writing 2013: 560
- Hours Writing 2014: 344
Much of the decrease came as direct result of finding employment in a full-time setting. As such, the numbers for 2013 essentially stop after September. October-December of dead weight for any calculations.
I say these things to illustrate a few points.
1st: I have a full time job, I’m managing a mental illness that means even on weekends I don’t stay up late anymore. (I know, responsibility… She’s a harsh mistress.) Which means, in all of 2014, I had (excluding sleep) 60 hours a week of free time, to eat, socialize, deal with my parents, write, read, unwind, etc… So, yeah, I can see a notable decrease from 2013, but that decrease is also relative to the free time I have available.
In a full year, that’s 3,120 hours. I lost two months to my bipolar disorder. So, that leaves 3,000 hours. Which means, by my (admittedly unscientific account) I’ve only used 10% of my free time to progress my dream. How distressing.
It’s equally as bad in 2013, where I had 5846 free hours (assuming 8 hours of sleep) and I managed 560 hours of work.
- 2013: 9.57%
- 2014: 11.46%
So, less free time, more efficiency. Not exactly the jump I had hoped for.
However… Since October, when I realized that I was meandering around, I set my goal to make writing and the progress to publication a full-time part-time experience. So, that means 1,040 hours.
Needless to say, I’m not there. Certainly, nowhere near 10,000 hours (though my estimates are conservative and I have no way to tally my actual time worked). But, my month to month stats (since I made the conscious choice to make it part-time job) are:
- 09-00-14 27.5
- 10-00-14 44
- 11-00-14 62.5
- 12-00-14 63.5
Definitely trending up. The difference is that I also made the choice to account for editing, writing this blog, revisions, and scrap thoughts. In short, everything. Before that, I wasn’t taking that into account.
Again, it’s all relative, but these statistics help me keep a handle on what I’m doing, what’s realistic and what’s insane. There are moments of dramatic productivity, when I’m pushed, but I’ll take the consistency any day.
That’s one of my goals in 2015. See, I knew there had to be a point to all of this.