One Week’s Writing Time, Plotted

Last week, I mentioned how I was testing out modifications to my Google Writing Tracker scripts that allows me to track the time I spend writing, in addition to how much I write. Having collected 8 days worth of data, I now present the initial results of these scripts. There are a few limits to Google Spreadsheets bubble chart function:

  • The y-axis label on the chart below represents the hour of the day (in 24-hours time) that I started my writing session.
  • The x-axis is an internal date designation. Each number on the x-axis represents a day of the week, beginning on November 3. So the number 41,5811 represents November 3, 41,582 represents November 4, etc. all the way through 41,588, which represents yesterday, November 10. That these are numbers and not dates is an artifact of how I am attempting to visualize the data. I hope to be able to fix this so that it displays dates in the future.
  • The size of the bubble represents the duration of the writing session (in minutes) relative to one another. The larger the bubble, the longer the writing session. I also color-coded the bubbles to indicate writing sessions less than one hour and those that lasted an hour or more.

Here is the chart:

Writing Time

A few observations you can make from this data:

  1. The bulk of my writing takes place in the evening. On Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, my writing was generally done after 5 pm (17:00 hours).
  2. On Tuesday evening, I had a long writing session (almost 2 hours). Tuesday evening, Kelly takes the kids out and I have a few hours to write. I use that time wisely.
  3. On Wednesday morning, I have another long writing session (2 hours). I wasn’t feeling well Wednesday and stayed home from work. That time you see is the time I spent finishing the final draft of the story that I sold later that day.
  4. On the weekends, I tend to write earlier in the day.
  5. All but 2 of the writing sessions are blue, indicating that I generally write less than one hour at a time. As I have said before, I have learned to write even when there are only a few minutes available.
  6. On a few days, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, I wrote more than once each day.
  7. Saturday evening was my shortest session. That small blue dot at about 8pm (20:00) is me writing for 7 minutes.

This is just a sample based on 8-days worth of data that I have collected since modifying my writing scripts to track time. But it is consistent with my experience. I tend to write in the evenings for less than an hour at a time.

I spent a total of 500 minutes writing over the last 8 days, which amounts to about 8 hours and 20 minutes. My average writing session lasted 45 minutes, but those numbers are skewed slightly because of the two unusually long writing sessions I had on Tuesday and Wednesday. Over the course of the 8 days, I had 11 separate writing sessions.

I imagine this data will become more interesting after there is more of it to look at. It will be interesting to see how it looks after I have a complete month’s worth of data. It will also be interesting to overlay this data on how much I write in each session and see what information can be extracted from that.

  1. I believe this number represents the number of days since January 1, 1900.


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