Tuesday, July 22, 2008
typing is hard
In case anyone's wondering why I haven't been globbing much lately...here's some LP math for your morning's entertainment. Current project allows Your Author five and a half normal weeks of writing time to produce about 71,100 words. By "normal weeks" they mean they're calculating this as if you get weekends off (ha!). This means producing about 2,500 words of sparkling prose a day. Many of those words are phone numbers and things like "open noon-3pm on alternating Tuesdays from June-August but only Sundays and every other Thursday the rest of the year" -- not too taxing creatively, sure, but tedious to arrange. Especially when you're getting the info from a reindeer-mauled notebook or a used cocktail napkin and you have handwriting like mine.
The other part that makes the math a bit weird is that, really, you don't write most of the book from scratch. It's an update of what's already there, so some of the text is going to stay as it is, if it's fine that way. The basic early history of Sweden, for example, hasn't changed much since the previous edition. (Bad example, though, as LP has a "new style" for its history chapters, meaning significant rewrite.) Anyway, what we're really counting here is not so much words written as words prepared. Or something like that.
Anyway. Yesterday I wrapped up a big chapter, which allowed me to do an accurate where-I-stand word count. Uh-oh! The scoop: I've been home and writing for 15 work days, by which I mean Monday through Friday, days when regular people work when they have real jobs in offices. One of those days was a holiday (July 4th!), so let's call it 14 work days. In 14 workdays at 2500 words per day, I should've finished 35,000 guidebook words. That's a lot! So how many do I really have done? Get ready:
What this means, of course, is that (1) I'm freaking out a little, and (2) in the margins between today and tomorrow I need to crank out 10,000-odd words. Plus today's 2500! Whoo!
I'm already tired just looking at that!
OK. I'm off to inject some coffee and look around for an easy chapter that's already perfect...