While living and working in Edinburgh in 2008 I set out to write one million words in 366 days... but only managed 800,737.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Status Report: Week Five

It has been a strange few days. First Memphis trades Pau Gasol to the Lakers for… um, financial flexibility. Just how they’ll land a free agent of Gasol’s ability with their vaunted cap space this coming off season, or the next, beats me.

I think this is the first time I have posted about the NBA. I haven’t been deliberately concealing this fact, it’s just I’m a Kings supporter and there hasn’t been much to crow about with everyone injured and/or waiting to be traded.

I don’t know all the salary cap intricacies involved, but surely Memphis could have got more for Gasol from the Kings than Kwame Brown’s expiring contract, a 3rd string rookie PG and two draft picks (which, now that the Lakers are stacked, will be late-late first rounders)?

Another strange occurrence this week was that my temp job evolved into something more than filing. I actually got to use a computer on Thursday and Friday. Not that I’d need any of my three degrees to carry out the required tasks, but my hands welcomed the respite from filing.

And then, of course, there was the writing.

January ended with a word count of 89,920. I usually leave it till the end of the day to transfer the word counts in my faithful moleskin into my excel spreadsheet, so I didn’t realise I was 80 words short of 90,000 for the month until it was too late. I’d closed all of my word documents, put iTunes to bed and it was already pretty late for a school night.

I think 89,920 is a bit more believable than 90,001, or whatever I would have scraped to if I had soldiered on.

Anyway, that was January. There are seven more 31 day months left in 2008. I’m sure 90,000 will fall at some stage.

But for now, it’s February, complete with its blessed bonus day on the 29th. Hmm, the 29th is a Friday… Is that the bonus day or is December 31st (the 366th day)? Either way, neither are ideal for writing a truckload.

In recognition of cracking another milestone (see Year-to-Date word count below), I tried to find some better looking charts. Turns out they take forever to make, and I’m not sure what they’ll even look like, so you only get two this week.

Week Five – The Stats

Wordcount: 20,276 words

Average: 2,897 words per day (compared to 3,087 last week)

Most productive day: Saturday 2 Feb, 4,908 words

Least productive day: Wednesday 30 Jan, 1,608 words

Year-to-date: 100,722 words… or 10% of the way there.

This week (Week Five) was pretty similar to the last: a lull mid-week made up for by going hard in the weekend. I wasn’t quite up to last weekend’s back-to-back 5000 word days, but it can’t be Nashville every night.

Most of my fiction was focussed on ‘Novel B’. I’ve written a lot of words but I’m still in the midst of the opening chapter (or three opening chapters, I still haven’t decided on the way the story will be divided). Like I say at the top of this page, writing a million words is sort of like writing War and Peace twice. Aside from the fact it’s more like writing War and Peace 1.85 times, I’m not going to end up with one massive tome at the end of this. It’ll be more like a medium sized novel (80-100,000 words??), and a collection of print-worthy short stories. The rest will all have been spent on drafts, revisions, failed ideas, writerly emails, and of course, semi-erudite blog entries. Perhaps hemi-demi-semi-erudite blog entries.

I wonder how many of the million words will be deployed in the name of self-deprecation?

At least I’m talking like I will write a million words this year, eh?

Okay, time to watch the Superbowl. I’m also a big NFL fan, except this year I’m not that excited about this year’s Superbowl. New England is one of the best teams of all time (I say this begrudgingly, being a Dolphins fan), and the Giants are merely adequate. If ‘the other’ Manning leads the G-men to victory, I think I would feel sorry for Tom Brady.

For about a second.

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