Saturday, March 12, 2016

I Hate Math

I've been working on the novel in what seems to be a hit or miss fashion to me. I'm totally unsatisfied by what I've accomplished. In a perfect world, I'd get 1000 words every day. By that logic, in 50 days, I'd be done. I could do it... in my dreams. I could do a couple of thousand a day... in my nightmares.

I've forced myself, convinced myself, that even 300 words are an accomplishment to be lauded. I tell myself that. I do. I pat myself on the back. "You wrote 20 words today, my dear! Wonderful job. Best 20 words you've ever written."


No, I don't know why authors are so obsessed with word counts. Well, I sort of do. I mean, you have to keep up. There is a kind of math about it all. I hate math.

There are average lengths to stories... short stories, flash fiction, novella, novels, super novels. All have a word count range determined originally, I suspect, by publishing houses. So, one must do the math. Then, there are those "beat" thingys. I'm still trying to wrap my head around those. Fortunately, Jami Gold's website has some awesome and simple explanations. She's apparently good at math. She gives you these nice spreadsheets that do the math for you. I hate math.

Of course, daily word count goals are a different math. That's where you kind of set this goal - that's a promise to yourself - and you strive to write that many words that day. At the end of the day, you tally it up. I use Scrivener and it does the math for you. You just click that little target and it tells you how many words you've typed. It also tells you how many total words are in the novel. And, if you're really, really obsessive, you can actually put your daily target in there, and it is will beat you with a club if you don't meet your goal!

Nah, I'm lying about that. It just throws it in your face in a little box on the screen. If you ask it. I don't set those targets.

I should think about that. I hate math.

Where was I? Oh, yes. So, I was curious. I have been chewing on posting my word count every few days, at least. I like to humiliate myself like that. I'd love to see it rise daily but let's face it, it isn't happening. So, I've opted to post it when I think about it. That means when I write. I only remembered it today, after three days of writing. It sort of popped into my head.

"You've written for three days and not kept track of your daily word count." Yeah, that's true.

Then I got curious. Exactly what is the total count of the story? Well, you know, I had no idea. I rarely look at that number. Because until it is finished, the total count doesn't really ... well, it doesn't count. So, I went back and looked. 60,080 words. Now then, that's a different horse of a color.

I tried to remember what the word count was at the end of last November when I finished NaNoWriMo. I had to have at least 50,000 to win. I remember winning. Of course, I could have had more than 50K. I had no idea. In order to clarify this issue, I trotted over to the website to get my total.

As of November 30th, 2015 - 50,071 words. Oh.

As of March 12, 2016 - 60,080 words.

Well, that's progress. That means I've written 10,009 words in 104 days. That's sounds wonderful.

Let me see, that averages out to 96.24 words a day. OK, that wasn't as exciting as I anticipated.

Well, it averages out to 667.27 words a week. Hmmm, still not very exciting.

In  the course of 3.5 months, I averaged 2859.71 words each month.

I really hate math.