Friday 1 May 2020

So how long does it take to write a book?

Alright, while I'm busy procrastinating on Labour Day, here's a quick look at how long it actually took to write the first draft of The Weight of Secrets, or as I call it, "Hostage".

Why? Because I like stats and I like numbers and playing around with data is fun. LOL.
Also, it helps me figure out what works and doesn't work for me, so that the next time I start a project, I can uh, plan. appropriately. Or something.

So how did it go overall?

Look at that! My original target was to quick draft it in 2 months, from February to March. OBVIOUSLY, no writing got done in February. I did start the first 1K like on Feb 24 or something, but let's disregard that. Well, I still did write it in two months, March and April, so I'll call that a win.

And then after a good start in March, it plateaued again like forever before it picked up again. Um, I don't exactly remember why, but probably because I was either a) doing paid projects to actually earn money or b) lazy.

Most likely lazy. Oh wait, Feb & March was when I was working on the Agape & TMRD scripts.

As my daily word count shows, I'm not very good at writing every day. I already figured this out last year when I was working on Berserker (The Weight of Strength). Whether it was for the NaNoWriMo vomit draft or the actually paced-and-plotted rewrite for my dissertation, the best I could do was write on alternate days. It's as if my brain needs a day to recover, especially if I write anything over 2K a day. Who knew?!

Hence the random spurts. If you track the dates (which aren't actually showing on the graph, idk why), you'll find that most of my writing is done on Monday. Which is when I run writing sprints for MYWriters Penang now that we don't get to meet in LUMA for our write-ins. Actually, half the time I'm sprinting by myself, but that's all cool.

I've discovered sprinting on Discord so I get trophies (even if I'm the only one competing), stats and levels. :p

The NaNoWriMo site covers a lot of info if you write with their timer, which is how I've confirmed that I'm a night owl. (Nothing new there).

But because I also want to look at my own stats, I downloaded info off my Toggl tracker to see how many hours I actually wrote over these two-ish months. The info isn't 100% accurate because sometimes I forget to turn it on and sometimes it's on, but I'm just like rewriting the same few sentences over and over again, but most of the sessions are there.

Here are the stats:

I spent 87.5 hours in total writing this beast! That's 87.5 hours for 81K words, so an average of 925 words an hour. 

That's a slight variance from NaNoWriMo's 1,140 words per hour (19wpm x 60 mins), but the average 1K per hour is roughly correct. In all likelihood, the Toggle data is more accurate, because I also track time the time I spend light editing the previous chapters to help me get started. I only turn on the NaNoWriMo tracker when I'm ready to sprint. 

In terms of when I wrote, yup, I wrote the most often in the evening, but surprisingly I wrote quite a lot at 2pm as well. This is just the time I started (count of description) and the total hours written in that session (sum of duration) and doesn't tell you how productive those sessions were.

So, how long does it take to write a book?
Approximately 95 hours over 2 months. 

Or if you're mad enough to cram it into an actual 40-day work week, you could be done in... 2.5 weeks.

This is just the first draft, though.
Next, I have to edit it for all the things I set aside and said "I'll fix this in edits".

I'm not going to start editing until at least June.
HMMM maybe that'll be my CampNaNo goal.

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