Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Counting the Days

There is a certain part of the book when you realize that there are only a few chapters left until you are done.  (Fair warning, a certain red-head may be at this part of her book.)  Ahem, as I was saying: 

When you are a writer and you get to this part of your book, you sit down with your calculator and start crunching numbers to figure out, realistically, how quickly you could actually be finished with the first draft. 

Well, at least it starts out realistic.  "Assuming the nice and steady 500 words per day during the week that got me here, that gives me 2,500 words per week.  I seem to be averaging around 1,500-ish words per chapter, and I think I have about five chapters left.  So in about three or so weeks, I will be finished."

Then you sit there and look at the calculator a bit.  And then you think, "Hm, if I can write 1,000 words four days a week, that means I can get 4,000 words a week.  That would have the rough draft done in two weeks."

Wouldn't that be nice?  Two weeks!

Then you pick up the calculator again.  Okay, so if I work through lunch and then work at home in the evenings, maybe I could get 2,000 words per day.  If I could do that for just five days, I would totally be finished!"

Five days.

Then your realize, "If I call in sick, I could work for eight hours straight.  I could have it all FINISHED in one day!"

Just eight solid hours!  How hard could it be?

Then you check your email...and Facebook...and Twitter.  You get some chocolate, and try to remember the name of that movie from the late seventies that ends with the shot of people standing on the back of a giant sea turtle.

Suddenly two weeks sounds just fine.

Or maybe the three week option...that one was good, too. 


  1. I actually, literally, laughed out loud. HOW long have you been looking for the title to that movie? ;)

    1. You know me too well! I should offer a signed copy of my book when it comes out to the first person who leave the name of that movie in the comments!

  2. Oh yeah, I've so been there, but I almost always plow through the one day option. I get up in the middle of the night to polish off chapters, because seriously? Nothing is better than that feeling that it's over.

    1. I tend to write late at night. It is the small children underfoot that keep me from going with the one day option at this point, but someday...

      However, I very well might develop a horrible case of hypochondria once I start rewrites. *cough cough

  3. You're as obsessed with numbers as I am! I finally had to start working with pages rather than words, 'cause otherwise I was looking at the numbers rather than writing. So my goal right now is 8 pages a day.

  4. I really DO get obsessed with numbers. When I was handwriting my work, I had each page hand numbered and tried to make a daily page count, but when I switched over to Scrivener for my writing I became all about the "Project Target" (word count).

    I have learned to hide the word count feature until I reach a natural stopping point, otherwise if I hit my target easily I yell "WOOT! WOOT!" pat myself on the back and get lazy...and if I miss my target I beat myself up and eat enough vegan chocolate to sink a small ship. Either way, it isn't pretty (or productive).

  5. You try and calculate it? That's dedication.

  6. Good luck with your book!

    I've nominated you for the VErsatile Bloggers award. For more info follow my link to my blog.