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...


  1. Oh, shit, sister. That is not math I want to be thinking about. I just have a vague feeling that I'm screwed... Back to work for me and you!

  2. Hang in there, Becky!

  3. Hire some slavez who type in exchange for paly.

  4. Anonymous2:27 PM

    Man that sounds hard. You know, the other week, I had to sit in my office and type for, like, sixty hours, man... Oh wait. That's every week... for the past 8 years, and for the next 30...


  5. First of all, I love that photo: it looks like the frantic scribblings of a creative mind at peak operating condition.

    (On the downside, it also looks like a stock photo you might see in some corporate magazine ad showing the "before" method of office data organization — but now made easier with the purchase of an expensive new Sun Microsystems iThink XP-465e Metrics Management Facilitation Solution!)

    Anyway, I'm sure you'll find a way to trim some time. If not, there's always the HST method of delaying a deadline: have some "innocent bystander" attempt to transfer the files over the phone lines while you keep jiggling & unplugging the power cable in mid-transmission.

    Damn fool machine! The infernal scumbags who designed that torturous box of microchips and wires are cheating weasels who should be dragged screaming from their beds at midnight! Curse their Rotarian rat-brains!