Writing By the Week

Yesterday, I mentioned how I completed my first week on the second draft of my novel, and provided the number of words I produced for the week. It occurred to me that in the past, I’ve been reporting mostly daily word counts and trends, and never weekly, so this morning, I took a quick look at my data to see how things look at the week-level as opposed to the day level. Here is a plot of the words counts for every week I’ve been writing, going back to the week ending March 3, 2013:

Word Counts by Week

The red line represents my average over the last 59 weeks, a number that comes to about 5,800 words/week. As you can see, last week, I broke my overall average for the first time since back in January. Those 10-, 12, and 13,000 word weeks you see last summer was back when I was racing to finish the first draft of the novel.

I took one more quick slice of the data, plotting it as a histogram, and came up with the following:

Word Per Week Histogram

From this, you can see that I’ve written between 4,500 – 6,000 words on 21 different weeks. I’ve written between 6,000 and 7,500 words on 15 different weeks. There is only a single week where I’ve written less than 3,000 words, and three separate weeks, I’ve written more than 10,500 words.

There are some hard limits here. As I’ve mention before, my biggest obstruction is not a lack of ideas or will, but time. I only get about 45 minutes/day to write, on average. If I could slowly work that 45 minutes up to an average of 80 minutes, I could come close to 2,000 words/day (14,000 words/week). But it will take time to get there.

About Jamie Todd Rubin

Jamie Todd Rubin writes fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications including Analog, Clarkesworld, The Daily Beast, 99U, Daily Science Fiction, Lightspeed, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and several anthologies. He was featured in Lifehacker’s How I Work series. He has been blogging since 2005. By day, he manages software projects and occasionally writes code. He lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter at @jamietr.