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, June 22, 2008

Status Report: Weeks 24 & 25

Weeks Twenty-Four and Twenty-Five – The Stats

Fortnightly Wordcount: 18,221 words

Average: 1,302 words per day

Excuse: Turkey and related preparation & recovery

Most productive day: Friday 20 June, 3,980 words

Least productive day: Take your pick (six goose eggs in total)

Year-to-date: 430,757 words (44,653 words behind target)

So, in the last fortnight, I have fallen another 20,030 words behind target. Gulp.

In eight days time it will be the chronological halfway point of The Year of a Million Words. However, if I write 2,732 words per day, I will only write my 500,000th word on the 18th of July. Then again, if you halve my eventual word count, I suspect I will have already written more than 50% of my year’s words… if that makes sense.

Of course, sense for me in 2008 is a relative term.

But regardless of what measure you use, this is a transition period.

It is clear that I will not be able to write well and prolifically whilst countering the twin evils of full-time employment and regular globetrotting.

Aside: when your twin evils are a job and travel, you should not be allowed to complain. Ever.

And of course, August is Festival Time here in Edinburgh, and I be attending a number of events as part of the Fringe and Literature Festivals. Some of my circled sessions for the latter include: Doug Johnstone & Toby Litt on Music and Fiction (16 Aug, 8:30pm), Carol Ann Duffy (23 Aug, 8pm), Will Self (24 Aug, 1.30pm), Andrey Kurkov (24 Aug, 6:45pm). The big names like Salman Rushdie and Louis de Bernieres I can take or leave.

One of the joys of book festivals is discovering new writers, but at £9 per session (more for workshops & masterclasses) and so many sessions run during work hours, I’ll be relying heavily on the free readings at 10am on the weekends to get my fix of fresh voices.

Anyway, the moral of the story is: Don’t expect the Actual worm to make any ground on the Target worm any time soon.

Perhaps a name change is in order?

How about The Year I Tried To Write A Million Words And Came Up Short Because of Full Time Work and Travel? Or The Year of Word Counts? Maybe The Year Of Learning One’s Limitations? The Year of Eight Hundred Thousand, One Hundred and Six Words, perhaps?

Or simply: The Year of a Million Words [sic]?

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