Lexifabricographer For when the right word just won’t do…

March 2, 2012

February Stats

Filed under: fitter/happier,news of the day,wordsmithery — lexifab @ 9:53 pm

February was, as I may have intimated yesterday, not electrifyingly productive. It did not amp up. It neither kicked nor bounced. But still, y’know, progress was made. Here, for the edification of precisely nobody else, are the stats I tracked for this month.

Walking – In accordance with the school of thought that dictates leading with your strongest card, I met my goal of getting my average daily step count up over 13000. Well over, in fact – the average was 13,555 per day. That’s somewhere in the vicinity of 9500 metres per day. At least according to the pedometer, that is – I don’t know quite how to calibrate it to my personal length of pace, so take that distance measure with a grain of salt.

I’m pretty happy with that result. Walking more – and measuring the results – has definitely improved my overall health over the last year, although you wouldn’t know it from all the colds I’ve picked up from my kids. My weight hasn’t changed much, but a lot of it seems to have redistributed to less undesirable locations. And I can walk up ten flights of stairs with only moderate loss of breath and/or consciousness, so that’s something too.

Writing – I’ve continued work on the novel (which I should probably give some kind of cool code name, except that I’m not going to because then I’ll probably end up changing the real title by accident or something). I’m determined to get this thing written. I have set myself some pretty high standards, I don’t mind telling you.

I *do* mind telling you that I’ve fallen pretty far short of those standards. Ideally I would like to get at least 1000 words a day done, which is a bit of a cracking pace but well short of the 1700-ish frenzy of NaNoWriMo. In February, I only managed a total of a little over 11,000 words, which amounted to a pretty underwhelming 391 words a day. Not quite the gold standard, I fear.

What’s most disappointing about this figure is that I actually worked pretty hard for it. At Andrea’s excellent suggestion, I started getting up early – a quarter to five, yo- at some point during the month. (Can’t remember when that was. Probably should have made a note of it.) Most mornings I managed to get somewhere between 45 minutes and an hour to write, which usually did not amount ot more than 500 words. I still haven’t quite trained myself up to the trick of turning my brain off and just typing, apparently. I might concentrate on that next month, possibly with a five minute warmup first before I turn my attention to the manuscript.

I also got an hour or two to write on about three or four evenings most weeks. By the end of the month I was tending to spend maybe half an hour or so on the novel and the rest of the time on less demanding projects – reviews, blog posts and throwing more ideas into the novel outline file. I intend to stick with my plan of continuing to slog through to finish the current draft, in spite of the slow going. When I’m done, I’ll spend some quality time reworking the entire novel in outline, then I’ll start again. In the meantime I will try to reign in my expectations. It will be done when it’s done.

Other stuff – I wasn’t just writing the novel. I racked up another 1800 words on outlining; that plan will get me some of the way but not all of the way to the end of the draft. I wrote a couple of Lost reviews – 1600 words, which means the length on those is starting to creep up again. Tsk. Various Lexifab entries totalled something like 4000 words. I wrote no book reviews and no short fiction, which is almost as disappointing as the novel tally. I did write half of a song, but it’s not finished yet and in any case I think counting verse is probably over-reaching.

So, enough recrimination. My word count wasn’t what I wanted for the month, but it wasn’t negligible. The novels’ Draft Zero wordcount stood at 64000 at the end of the month. Some goal refreshment: I’d like to think I can get that total to 75 or even 80 by the end of March (I think the overall length of the draft will be somewhere around 90,000 words, so I don’t actually expect to finish the draft this month). I have been planning to write two Lost reviews a week but at the moment that’s looking a little ambitious. I have at least three reviews that I want to get to, though at this point I’m not sure I’m moved to make any of them full (500+ word) length. And the short fiction episodes tend to serve the important function of letting me play with ideas which might otherwise distract me from the job at hand.

Then again, I’ve just written over 800 words summarising some other words I wrote, so perhaps stronger measures are in order.

Oh, and I did some reading as well, but I’ll save that for another day’s bloggage.

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