In a past blog post I told you about how my BFF Neil Gaiman told me (and several hundred other people) that as a writer I needed to finish something and get it out there. He also told me that I had to call myself a writer. Well as of this last Sunday this writer finished the first draft of her first novel. Yes, dear readers, my first book is done! I literally typed “The End” at the end because, holy crap, THE END!
So, because I am who I am, I can now start analyzing the books stats! Are you excited? I am! See, I keep a spreadsheet documenting how much I write each day. (Totally normal. Everyone does this, I’m sure.) Ready to discover book stats with me?
Book start date: July 15, 2013
Book end date: August 2, 2015
Book duration: 748 days
Book length (pages): 171
Book length (words): 98,942 words
The novel took me 2 years and 18 days to finish. On average I wrote 132 words per day. Let’s marvel over that tiny number. 132 words per day can get you a long novel in just over 2 years. Of course that number is misleading.
Actual writing days: 88
Max words in a day: 6630
Min words in a day: 23
Average words per writing day: 1124
I only wrote 11% of the days I had available, or about 1.5 days out of every two weeks. That seems like a paltry pace, even for a fulltime working mom. Digging deeper I find that from October 21, 2013 to January 7, 2015 (443 days, or 1 year 78 days) I only managed to write on 7 days producing 8,018 words. Yep, those were the Afthead family depression days when my emotional and mental energy was needed for something more personal than my novel. Interesting though that I still averaged 1145 words per writing day during that stretch; I am consistent. If I take out those 443 days as an anomaly I find that my book took 305 days (let’s say 10 months) and on average I wrote 29% of the days, or 4 days every two weeks. That seems about right with my sense of how the composition went and also seems pretty reasonable. If I start now and keep up my average writing pace, I could have book number two done in under a year. That’s cool! I know, I’m ignoring the second draft of book one in this number and assuming good fortune in the Afthead world. Still, I feel proud of what I accomplished and, with caveats, confident about what I could accomplish going forward at this reasonable writing rate.
One last set of numbers for those of you still with me.
Max week = 12262 words
Days writing in max week = 3
Average words per writing day in max week = 4,087
This of course was the last week of the novel. The end was coming and I could feel it. At this pace, we’ll call it the QMJ (Quit My Job) pace, I could write a second book in 24 weeks. Whoa! That gives me some perspective about how real writers manage to produce a book a year.
That’s Part 1 of the book finishing adventure. Next we’ll move onto part 2, the emotional part.
The End. (Those two words. Bliss I tell you!)