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

Monday, September 8, 2008

Status Report: Week Thirty-Six

Week Thirty-Six – The Stats

Weekly Wordcount: 15,934 words (compared to 22,753 words last week)
Average: 2,276 words per day (compared to target of 3,001/day)
Most productive day: Tuesday 2 September, 3,072 words
Least productive day: Thursday 4 September, 1,089 words
Year-to-date: 587,439 words (98,353 words behind target)

Not as bounteous a week as last week. It's hard to write much when you're main task is proof reading. I discovered one story, 'Mark II', which I worked on solidly last week, was still not good enough. It's place in the collection has been taken by a much older story (it was part of my writing sample when I applied for the MA programme back in Nov 2005, though it has changed titles three times since then).

In the process of cleaning up my desk in preparation for our move on Tuesday I found a print out of an earlier version of 'Mark II', back when it was called something else (problem titles usually associate with problem stories). Written at the top of the print out was the following: "Consign to the dustbin of shit stories". I could have saved myself a few hours last week if I'd taken this advice, but I hate to see all that work go down the drain.

[Despite having a commerce degree and several years of work experience in the financial sector, I still can't transfer the whole sunk cost thing into real life, and especially not writing].

This coming week will be carnage. The move on Tuesday, re-packing for Greece, final edits on stories then posting off a doorstop of double-spaced A4 to a semi-unsuspecting publishing house.

The project on return from Greece will be... *drumroll*


The last couple of weeks of action / progress / positivity have convinced me I need to work towards one single, achievable goal at a time. I will be able to write in a room without a television, and will have a relatively settled three months before we pick up sticks and resume our roles as full-time vagabonds, so I am keen to finish a novel by early December.

I feel this is achievable with Novel A or Novel B. This might sound cocky, or unrealistic, or off-hand, but a quick look at my all-knowing spreadsheet tells me I have devoted 24,763 words to Novel A so far in 2008 (in addition to writing a 80,000 word version in 2006) and 61,828 words on Novel B.

I would like to finish both, eventually. But I must choose one.

Until last week, Novel A was the obvious candidate. If I were a betting man, I'd still say it was 9/14 that this will be my project.

But I re-read some of Novel B the other day and, well, it's not too shabby.

Here's hoping it’s good decision-making weather in the Cyclades!

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