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, December 14, 2008

Status Report: Week Fifty

Last night I saw a fox in Princes Street Gardens. I tried taking a photo but it was too far away, the park too dimly lit. It was a fox though. It wasn’t just me who saw it. We followed the fox for several hundred metres until it disappeared on the Lothian Road side of the Ross Bandstand.

I’ve seen squirrels in the Gardens (though not lately, it being winter and all), but it’s not exactly a haven for wildlife. There may be wild foxes around Holyrood Park / Arthur's Seat, but to Princes Street from there, it would still have to go 500 yards through the centre of Edinburgh (or along the rail lines)...

I must do some research on whether foxes are a common sight in the gardens, excuse me a moment…

Okay, I’m back. I couldn’t find anything about foxes in the Princes Street Gardens anywhere on the internet. Has Google let me down? Or am I the first to mention it? If so, is it less than noteworthy, or inconceivable? Will I be spotting Yowies next?

Anyway. This is just to prove that life can contain its excitement while writing a considerable amount*…

Week Fifty – The Stats

Weekly Wordcount: 30,863 words (compared to 12,085 words last week)
Average: 4,409 words per day (compared to normal target of 3,001 words/day; ambitious target of 5,000 words/day)
Most productive day: Wednesday 10 December, 6,376 words
Least productive day: Saturday 13 December, 2,796 words
Year-to-date: 786,778 words

QFAMW Records Achieved:

Highest single day wordcount: actually reached twice, first on Monday 8 Dec with 5,335 words, then smashed on Wednesday with 6,376 words
Highest weekly wordcount (previously held by Week 3: 22,409 words)
Highest Least Productive Day
(if that makes sense)

As I mentioned last Sunday, when I set target of the 5,000 words a day, it was with the knowledge that everything was in my favour in Week 50. No work, defined project(s), looming deadline. Add regular doses of caffeine and not-so-nice weather to reduce the temptation to venture outside, and voila, a truckload of words.

This graph show nicely how much not working a day job affects productivity:

Wordcount is one thing. But I’m also pleased with what I’ve managed to produce so far.

A new 12,000 word (and growing) short story.

A new 4,000 word short story (almost finished).

Expanding an existing short story from 3,000 words to 6,000 words (in progress).

This next week is all about tying up loose ends, backing up documents in multiple places, and getting ready to go cold turkey on the (creative) writing front for four months.

But let’s not get too ahead of ourselves…

2008 Writing Days Remaining: 6
Required daily wordcount to crack 800,000 words: 2,222 words per day


* Other excitements this week:

Seeing a floppy disc on the footpath and getting that reminisce-y feeling;

Playing Risk (did you know that in mission risk these days you have to achieve four missions of increasing difficulty?);

A guy was supposed to come to collect my printer today but his sat nav was broken, I gave him directions, but he panicked on the phone and said he would drive back to Livingstone and get his wife’s sat nav… still no sign of him.


Anonymous said...

There are foxes all over central London, so it's no surprise they've got to the heart of Scotland.

geoff said...

Ah! I slept a night in those gardens - I hope foxes don't eat people!!

Unknown said...

i saw one on the way home from urs the other night - in the street.