First, let me congratulate everyone who participated in NaNoWriMo this year. Writing 50,000 words in a month is not easy. I did not participate this year, but my writing streak continues. I’ve written every day for the last 132 days, and I’ve written 275 out of the last 277 days. I’m fairly certain I’ve written more in 2013 than in the entire 10 years that preceded it.
Here is what my fiction-writing looked like in November. (For those curious, you can compare it to how I did in October.)
My writing was up from October. I wrote just shy of 30,000 words in the month of November, and missed my daily goal of 500 words only 3 times. Indeed, my daily average for the month was 971 words. The red line shows my 7-day moving average for the month and you can see that it is well above 500 words for the month. It is for that reason that I am raising my daily goal, starting today, from 500 words to 700 words.
Those two spikes of about 3,000 words is me writing the final draft of my story, “Big Al Shepard Plays Baseball on the Moon.” I finished the final draft on November 6, sent it out on submission, and sold it 4 hours later.
In addition to finishing (and selling) that story (a 6,300 word piece, as it turned out), I also went through 4 drafts of a new flash fiction story. That story was sent out in November as well. And I wrote about 12,000 words of the first draft of another alternate history story. I hope to at least finish the first draft of that before I start writing the second draft of my novel this month.
As of November 30, I have written 244,000 words of fiction in 2013.
One new piece of data I began collecting in November was the time I spend writing; not just how much time, but when, during the day, I do my writing. November is the first full month for which I have this “timesheet” data.
I have said that I probably spend 20-40 minutes a day doing my writing. This was based on my sense of how much time I was spending. In November, I logged a total of 21 hours and 20 minutes of writing time. This was spread of 36 distinct writing sessions that averaged 35 minutes each. But since some days I wrote more than once a day, my average time spent writing each day in November was 47 minutes, a bit longer than my estimate. This can be illustrated using a bubble chart.
In this chart, the x-axis represents the day of the month. The y-axis is the time of day that I started my writing session. The size of the bubble represents how long the writing session went. Blue bubbles are less than 1 hour; red bubbles are an hour or more. From this chart, you can see most of my writing still happens in the evenings, after 6 pm.
I submitted 3 stories in October, sold one, and I’m still waiting to hear back on one.
Today, I start reading my novel draft. While I am doing that, I’ll be working to finish the first draft of this alternate history novelette I’ve been working on. I’d estimate that I’ll begin writing the second draft of the novel around December 18 or so. Stay tuned.