Sunday, December 28, 2008

Writing, 2008

The year-end quantitative look back at 2008 has begun! We're kicking it off with all things writing related (in honor of the spirit of the blog), but first a little back story.

I've long loved the recap Christmas letters, most likely because my mom used to send them out when I was little. She would write down a little "here's what happened in the Chastain family" paragraph at the end of each month, and by the end of the year, she'd have a one- to two-page letter to send out with the holiday cards. At least I think that's how she did it. I tried it one year, and realized that I'm far too long-winded for a summary of each month. Hence, the quantitative letter was born. I think that a lot can be gleaned about a person's life and previous year by a few statistical facts. It helps immensely that I like to keep track of things (I have a spreadsheet for all the books I've read, another, compiled at the end of the year, of all the DVDs I've get the picture).

Here is everything about my writing in 2008:

Novels written: 1 (almost--check the tracker at the top of the page; I'm this close to finishing it)
Pages written: 302 and counting (see the tracker for the number of words; in 2007, I only wrote 277 pages, and that included part of a previous book; in 2006, I wrote 356 pages--yeah, that first book is really long)
Most pages written in a day: 15
Most consecutive days of writing: 12 (I wasn't as good this year as last year, when I think I only took one day off in November. Of course, I also finished last year's book in November and it was only 72,000 words or so...)
Times I've whined to Cody that this year's book will never end/need so many rewrites/is sucking away time from Book 1, which needs to be sold: Countless
Times I've gloated to Cody that this year's book will be my best book yet/has the best ending/has the best characters: Nearly as many
Query letters drafted: 5
Synopses drafted: 8
Titles debated (for Madison 1): 3 (The titled selected: Basic Trouble)
Hours I've worked on Basic Trouble: 85 (Time includes all rewrites, queries, synopses, and agent research. I started keeping track in July to make myself feel better about the paltry amount of time I've been able to put toward finalizing this book, but I don't know that I'd say this number could be doubled to get an estimate for the year. It really doesn't look like much here, but on top of work, sometimes the extra 5-7 hours a week was a lot. Seriously, though, I see a new goal for 2009.)
Author signings attended: 1 (by accident, but I bought his book anyway)
Published authors who've commented on my blog: 2
Published authors who've sent my blog post to their editor: 1 (thank you!)
RWA chapter meetings attended: 1 (it was so inspirational to be surrounded by fellow authors in every stage of the process!)

Tomorrow: Entertainment of 2008!


jennieke said...

Wow! Amazing how you keep track of all this information! But how come there's no tally for the hours spent to date on Madison 2? I'm sure it's an impressive amount :)

Rebecca Chastain said...

Good point, Jennieke! I did a quick tally, and I've spent about 68 hours on Madison 2 so far. It just doesn't sound like that much when the average work week is 40 hours long. Still, 68 hours in two months on top of work...I guess it's nothing to be ashamed of. :)