Still, I thought it might be interesting to folks to see what all 200 days of writing looks like because, among other things, the period contains my writing of the entire first draft of the novel. So, here it is, my 200 Days of Writing Infographic:
Are few thoughts on the infographic and what it tells me.
1. Where the “final reboot” arrow points (late May) is where, after many false starts, finally started on the draft of the novel as it now stands. The orange squares represent re-writing I did of the original material that I considered to be a complete rewrite of the story that I had written thus far. I think this is probably where I realized I wasn’t dealing with a short story any longer.
2. In early June, after the blocks of orange (rewrite), my focus is entirely on writing a the novel as a draft and I think it shows. After this point, there is no major rewriting, only a little bit of minor tweaks to the previous day’s work, and only a little nonfiction writing.
3. During my vacation in Maine and going through my attendance at Launchpad, I was in what many novelists call the “middle muddle.” This is the tough part, where is seems like the story is bogging down. I just had to brute-force my way through this part. In general, the daily word counts are down, and it is during this time that I missed 2 days .
4. When I returned home from Launchpad, I’d pushed through the middle muddle and the writing really began to take off. You can see this more easily when looking at the entire diagram.
5. I finished the 200 days strong, with more than 4,000 words on Saturday, but of course, I was racing to finish the novel draft and that helps explain what’s going on there.
6. The three days in which I wrote more than 4,000 words were all done at the Arlington Central Library instead of my home office. It tells me that getting out of my normal environment when I need to be really productive helps a lot.
7. During the 200 days, I wrote 182,000 words of fiction and nonfiction. Not indicated on this chart, but equally important to note is that during the same period, I also wrote 149,000 words worth of blog posts. So in 200 days, I managed to write more than a quarter of a million words. My fiction writing daily average comes out to 910 words/day, nearly twice what I was aiming for.
Last night, I worked on a new story, since I’m setting aside the novel for a few months. It felt a little strange to be working on something different, after spending so much time with the same characters. Nevertheless, I managed to write over 800 words on the new story, and more importantly, I wrote. I didn’t take the day off. I kept the streak going.
Over the course of 200 days, my best consecutive-day streak was 140 consecutive days. That streak broke back in July. Since then, I have started a new streak, in which I am aiming to break the old record. As of yesterday, the current streak stands at 56 days.