Author Topic: Factors influencing X words per day clubs  (Read 1076 times)

VisitasKeat

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Factors influencing X words per day clubs
« on: October 09, 2018, 09:30:28 PM »
I thought of finding out what factors affect my Writing Editing Publishing (WEP) session. Here are the factors I discovered:

Mindset - Pumped up / Depressed

Environment - Noisy / Silent

Device  - Desktop / Laptop / Tablet / Smartphone / Typewriter / Pen and paper

Writing - Longhand / Sprint / Dictation

Music - Yes / No

Music type : Without lyrics / With lyrics

Headphones - Wired ( Plain / Ear hook)  / Wireless ( Over head / Neckband) ... Or, is it just speakers?

Stomach - Bloated / Normal

Health : Normal / Tired / Sick

Furniture - Plain chair / Office chair/ Stool combined with Desk / Table (height adjustable?)...Or is it standing and typing, or, even lying down?

Did life get into way? Eg: Visitors, Social events, Business meetings, Family problems.

Some reflections on the above:

I make my entries daily into my Excel file but posting to these clubs surprisingly brought about more focus. These clubs are like the bar in the pole vault event. The height to be scaled increases as the event progresses. Some thresholds are difficult to breach while some can be scaled very often. Ultimately, it makes me a better writer as it is inspiring to see several writers frequently posting meaty word counts. It's like progressing through the eras of  Carl Lewis and Usain Bolt though I have no idea what a healthy daily word count would be. I will be happy with the story being clearly formed inside my head.

I noted that stress is different from tiredness. If my body is really tired, I won't feel like writing. But, stress, I feel, is because of repressing what I can actually write because the scenes have formed in my mind. Hence, whenever I have a meaty word count, the paradox is that I don't feel tired.

I need music only when the surrounding environment is noisy. Otherwise, music itself becomes noise. I found wireless headphones to provide maximum comfort but having an inbuilt SD card is the real thing. You don't need to connect to your phone. The only downside being that you cannot randomize the playlist. But it really doesn't matter that much because the instrumental numbers are notoriously long, each typically over an hour. Also, the range problem involving Bluetooth doesn't matter. I use wired earphones when I sprint while lying down on my pillow. Also, there is the added benefit of not needing to recharge the headphones!

I differntiate between cravings of mind and cravings of stomach. I think of taste buds as gatekeepers to the inner shrine called stomach. So, eating bloating food impacts my writing negatively. When I actually get writing, the so-called hunger goes away. If I don't write, I snack on junk food.

I found typing on tablets to be very useful while in a train. I can stand and type while inserting my fingers in between the backside of the flip case. Otherwise, my fingers have to painfully wrap around the broad ends of my tablet. I keep a template format ready which I copy to my main device, which is a laptop with Word 2016. Whenever I travel I use music and sprint. Otherwise, I avoid it as far as possible. Oh, typing on Smartphone seems to be a real hell! Psst...there must be a purpose behind inventing Tablets even though they are not selling that much. Also, you cannot stand and type on your laptop inside a train or a bus!

I discovered that the depression is mainly because of checking sales report before the start of WEP session. So, for a balanced mindset, I check sales report only after the WEP session.

I do my online research only during my WEP session. I discovered that I write more words in the subsequent sessions if I do so. So, I turn on the internet without any inner condemnation or guilt. It makes my first draft complete in all aspects. Anyway I take comfort in the fact that I will be following it up with three rounds of editing!

Thank you for reading through this prawny post. I hope you obtained new insights.



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VisitasKeat

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Re: Factors influencing X words per day clubs
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2018, 01:57:54 AM »
I tried to figure out more factors. Right now, in this post, let me consider the average daily word count for the year.

1. Average Daily Word Count (ADWC):

Now, it's very obvious as to what this means. It's the Total Word Count (TWC) for the whole year divided by 365.

Okay, 366 for leap-years.

So, ADWC = (TWC)/365

Now, why is ADWC all that important for logging in your spreadsheet, or, on X words per day clubs?

The answer is quite simple: So, as to provide you a direction in progressing towards your annual word count. When ADWC is logged alongside the Daily Word Count (DWC), there is instant measurement. Say, you want to write a million words for the upcoming year, then that means you need to write @ 1000,000/365 = 2739.72 words everyday to publish ten 100k novels.

Now, there are days that you lose because life got into your way, or, because you were busy editing or tweaking metadata. Add marketing and other stuff, there will definitely be several idle days for the year. You can log the Total Idle Days (TID) in a separate column on your spreadsheet. Just keep adding one whenever you get to the next entry for TID. You will start feeling guilty if you were lazing out for several days. It's like bunking school. So, logging TID reinforces the writing discipline in you. Also, you can get an idea if writing is really the career for you if you are not able to log respectable TWC.

Coming back to the point, you can pace your DWC in accordance with the current ADWC which is logged right from day one. So, you can slow down if your ADWC is much higher than 2739.72 words. Similarly, you can accelerate if you are falling short.

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Lorri Moulton [Lavender Lass Books]

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Re: Factors influencing X words per day clubs
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2018, 03:17:14 AM »
My biggest challenge is finding time to write.  It's not my day job, so 50 words a day means I actually have to open my WIP and type!  If I do 50 words, I'll often do 500 and it's without the stress. 

"I just need 15 minutes," I tell myself...and that often ends up being an hour or more.  :smilie_zauber:
            
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VisitasKeat

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Re: Factors influencing X words per day clubs
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2018, 11:42:25 PM »
My biggest challenge is finding time to write.  It's not my day job, so 50 words a day means I actually have to open my WIP and type!  If I do 50 words, I'll often do 500 and it's without the stress. 

"I just need 15 minutes," I tell myself...and that often ends up being an hour or more.  :smilie_zauber:

My approach is to set the goal for TWC before the year starts. So, I know the expected ADWC. As I log my WC everyday, I also log my daily ADWC alongside in the neighbouring column. So, I step up the pace if I have fallen short. Or, I take some days off if I'm ahead of the curve. Only if I want. But setting the expected TWC goal before the start of the year is paramount. It must be tangible, realistic.
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VanessaC

Re: Factors influencing X words per day clubs
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2018, 01:29:12 AM »
My biggest challenge is finding time to write.  It's not my day job, so 50 words a day means I actually have to open my WIP and type!  If I do 50 words, I'll often do 500 and it's without the stress. 

"I just need 15 minutes," I tell myself...and that often ends up being an hour or more.  :smilie_zauber:

There was a great post by Nicolas Erik at the other place - and probably also on Nicolas' website - about forming a (writing) habit.  One of the tips he suggested (I think - or I may just have decided to do this after reading the post) was to not switch off the laptop.  So I put my laptop into "sleep" mode after a writing session, meaning it boots up again in no time when I want to write.  That means if I've only got 15 minutes, I will actually use them writing - before, I wouldn't bother because the laptop can take a while to get started.  Of course I do turn off and properly reboot the laptop from time to time, but this little thing has made a huge difference.  And all those little bits of 15 minutes add up quite quickly.
     

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VisitasKeat

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Re: Factors influencing X words per day clubs
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2018, 02:27:11 AM »
2. Percentage Words Published (PWP) and Percentage Throughput (PT):

Seems like ADWC is the single most important variable to control the pacing of WC.

Really?

Of what use is a consistently high ADWC if you don't convert your TWC into publications? PWP takes care of this issue. If you have multiple WIPs, usually unfinished, you will have this problem. Or, if you have superficial hodgepodge "Fill in the blanks" kind of sprint files running into several thousands of words.

PWP logged right from the start of the year as a column on your spreadsheet gives the reality check. It puts you into self-editing mode at some stage even if plan to send your manuscript  to an editor.

So, PWP assumes significance if you plan to release frequently in order to feed your mailing list, or, invoke the algorithms in book stores favorably wherever possible. The interesting thing about PWP is that it keeps decreasing as your TWC increases. So, writing longhand and doing immediate edit passes become all the more important if you want a decent PWP.

Now, does a high PWP mean you are doing fine in terms of your production schedule?

Apparently yes, but actually no.

100% PWP can be achieved even if you just released a single shorts for the entire year.

PWP can be deemed healthy only if it is taken in the context of TID in order to measure the throughput.

(PWP)/(365-TID) gives the Percentage Throughput (PT). It's always a fraction.

Higher the PT value, the better it's for the author.

Note: I have not included days spent exclusively on editing as I feel those days count as production days. But I have excluded days spent exclusively on marketing, tweaking metadata etc.

Retrospectively, PT can be used to pool data in order to hire productive authors for joint projects.





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VisitasKeat

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Re: Factors influencing X words per day clubs
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2018, 01:29:13 AM »
Just a small clarification:

Ideally, for PT, the numerator must be as maximum as possible while the denominator needs to minimize TID. That means the denominator can get as near to 365 as possible. Even 365. The numerator would ideally be 100 but we are not considering one short story per year wonders.

Now, PT can increase as idle days increase, as much as for the entire year. The lesser the denominator, higher the PT. So,  I'm also not considering those cases where an author writes for a mere 100 days etc.

I assume authors keep writing consistently every few days.

So: PT = 100/365 = 0.2735 would be superb, almost utopian to aspire for.
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Maggie Ann

Re: Factors influencing X words per day clubs
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2018, 02:02:17 AM »
Numbers make my head hurt.

The biggest drawback for me is that I absolutely cannot write at home. I'm used to leaving the house with my AlphaSmart and working surrounded by people and noise. Even at the library, I'm at least surrounded by people. I can edit at home, but not write.

Too often, lately, I have appts or other responsibilities that prevent me from getting to one of my writing spots.

Excuses, excuses, I know.
           
 
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VisitasKeat

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Re: Factors influencing X words per day clubs
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2018, 09:29:14 PM »

My PT for 2018 works out to:

72 37/(365-81) = 72 37/284= 0.2548

Now, we need to tread cautiously in order to a closer look at this figure as 0.2735 is the best the most productive author can get.

So, is a PT value of 0.2548 that good for someone whose TWC happens to be a modest 166, 329 words?

In order to answer that we need to agree upon a ceiling for TID. Mine is 81 idle days. But if you go by corporate culture, just Sundays would be off. Hence, we need to have those days alone for holidays AKA Idle Days in our context. I'm leaving out sick leaves etc. So, we will have an approximate figure of four weeks per month plus some extras for arriving at an amicable figure.

4 * 12 = 48 + some more Sundays. It varies from year to year. I can take the value from calendar but I'm looking to fix an absolute value. So, let me get slightly generous and bring TID to 65.

Why?

365-65 = 300 looks cute in the denominator.

So, let us say that you or your team lead is allowing only 65 days to take off in any year. Now, for a fair PT value, only those authors with similar TWC need to be measured. That means, I can measure my PT only against, say, those who have TWC between 100,000 and 200,000. However, I cannot
measure it against those who are doing a million words in an year with TID<=65.

Whatever be the range within which you are measuring, PT essentially tells what percentage of written words have gone live on a given day. Divide further by 24. you can see what percentage you have published every hour.
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VisitasKeat

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Re: Factors influencing X words per day clubs
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2019, 01:50:59 AM »
3. Personal Reward Scheme!

Writing can be a terribly lonely job. Especially, X words per day clubs can turn into long lonely roads! And, if unfortunately you happen to be the OP, the burden of guilt can be even more! Everyone on the forum will expect you to perform and qualify the thread almost everyday. Not that it can't be done, just that  life gets into way so many times, and authors are almost always misunderstood for their rather hideous personalities! At least on X words per day clubs you got fellow travelers coming in and going out for the entire 365 days.

8760 hours can be many times very boring and discouraging. Even more if you are only logging on your spreadsheet.

So, I think it is important not to torture yourself for the entire 8760 hours. It's the difference between being a celebrant and a masochist. Even more worse, being a sado-masochist.

Hence, I thought of Personal Reward Scheme as an important factor influencing these clubs.

It's obvious, and you may already be doing it, but I thought of sharing my ideas.

(1) Whenever I cross multiple of 7500 words, I'm eligible to read a novel or watch a movie for the WEP session instead of writing. So, I need to finish reading the novel on that reward day itself, but, if I don't, I can resume reading only when I get to the next multiple of the novelette length, say, 15000 words.
These reward days won't get logged as an idle day.

(2) Supergirl Self-Interview - Whenever I get a really meaty WC (which I haven't!), I may answer questions on how the session went, first impressions etc.

Eg: Supergirl breaks the glass window and puts the microphone to the face!

Heya, how were you feeling when you entered your room?

Me bats eyelids, puts palms to cheeks, and exclaims: "Gosh, I felt so so special...like all the flowers bloomed today just for me! I never wanted to get my butt off the lappy. I would have preferred to drop dead before the keyboard!

(3) At a more professional level, posters with sudden meaty scores and other notable milestone declarations can be interviewed on the thread itself by some heavy hitting indie superstar.
https://www.amazon.com/author/roxiepowers

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munboy

Re: Factors influencing X words per day clubs
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2019, 09:58:19 AM »
Consistency is my biggest factor. The more I write, the more productive I am...that seems like a "duh" statement.  :icon_rofl:

In other words, when I write I can crank out more words per hour when I'm being consistent with writing every day as opposed to letting the real world distract me. When I have the daily juices flowing, I can hit around 800-1000 words an hour. When I don't write for awhile, I'm lucky to get out 300 or so...and those are a struggle.

I equate it to artists. You'll hear them talking about sitting down to do "warm up sketches" before working on the pieces they plan on working on. It gets them in that frame of mind. Same with me. I have to get moving before the words really start flowing. If I do it often, that "warm up" period is a lot shorter.
 
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VisitasKeat

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Re: Factors influencing X words per day clubs
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2019, 12:18:57 AM »
Consistency is my biggest factor. The more I write, the more productive I am...that seems like a "duh" statement.  :icon_rofl:

In other words, when I write I can crank out more words per hour when I'm being consistent with writing every day as opposed to letting the real world distract me. When I have the daily juices flowing, I can hit around 800-1000 words an hour. When I don't write for awhile, I'm lucky to get out 300 or so...and those are a struggle.

I equate it to artists. You'll hear them talking about sitting down to do "warm up sketches" before working on the pieces they plan on working on. It gets them in that frame of mind. Same with me. I have to get moving before the words really start flowing. If I do it often, that "warm up" period is a lot shorter.
My approach is to aspire for clarity in SIP. Once clarity is obtained, the WC swells. Hence, consistency is only a consequence of clarity, in my opinion. It is as if you know all the answers for a 3 hours University exam. So, you can imagine the speed with which you write.

A novel is a series of SIPs. Each one demands a different kind of rigor. Hence, as the transition happens between SIPs, there is always groping and confusion. This, in my opinion, is good.  Hence, I wholeheartedly welcome inconsistency.

An intelligent person is always inconsistent. Only idiots are very predictable.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2019, 12:28:02 AM by VisitasKeat »
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munboy

Re: Factors influencing X words per day clubs
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2019, 12:52:20 AM »
Consistency is my biggest factor. The more I write, the more productive I am...that seems like a "duh" statement.  :icon_rofl:

In other words, when I write I can crank out more words per hour when I'm being consistent with writing every day as opposed to letting the real world distract me. When I have the daily juices flowing, I can hit around 800-1000 words an hour. When I don't write for awhile, I'm lucky to get out 300 or so...and those are a struggle.

I equate it to artists. You'll hear them talking about sitting down to do "warm up sketches" before working on the pieces they plan on working on. It gets them in that frame of mind. Same with me. I have to get moving before the words really start flowing. If I do it often, that "warm up" period is a lot shorter.
My approach is to aspire for clarity in SIP. Once clarity is obtained, the WC swells. Hence, consistency is only a consequence of clarity, in my opinion. It is as if you know all the answers for a 3 hours University exam. So, you can imagine the speed with which you write.

A novel is a series of SIPs. Each one demands a different kind of rigor. Hence, as the transition happens between SIPs, there is always groping and confusion. This, in my opinion, is good.  Hence, I wholeheartedly welcome inconsistency.

An intelligent person is always inconsistent. Only idiots are very predictable.

I'm not sure if you just called me an idiot or not.  :icon_rofl:
 
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VisitasKeat

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Re: Factors influencing X words per day clubs
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2019, 01:32:31 AM »
Consistency is my biggest factor. The more I write, the more productive I am...that seems like a "duh" statement.  :icon_rofl:

In other words, when I write I can crank out more words per hour when I'm being consistent with writing every day as opposed to letting the real world distract me. When I have the daily juices flowing, I can hit around 800-1000 words an hour. When I don't write for awhile, I'm lucky to get out 300 or so...and those are a struggle.

I equate it to artists. You'll hear them talking about sitting down to do "warm up sketches" before working on the pieces they plan on working on. It gets them in that frame of mind. Same with me. I have to get moving before the words really start flowing. If I do it often, that "warm up" period is a lot shorter.
My approach is to aspire for clarity in SIP. Once clarity is obtained, the WC swells. Hence, consistency is only a consequence of clarity, in my opinion. It is as if you know all the answers for a 3 hours University exam. So, you can imagine the speed with which you write.

A novel is a series of SIPs. Each one demands a different kind of rigor. Hence, as the transition happens between SIPs, there is always groping and confusion. This, in my opinion, is good.  Hence, I wholeheartedly welcome inconsistency.

An intelligent person is always inconsistent. Only idiots are very predictable.

I'm not sure if you just called me an idiot or not.  :icon_rofl:
Oh no, not you! :cheers

I just made a generic statement. That's all.

Groping, assimilating, adding and deleting...these are the ways a writer "pays the price" to produce stories. It is the way of creativity, which always moves in unexplored domains. Same for artists of any profession.
https://www.amazon.com/author/roxiepowers

"Whenever you sight a rainbow bridge, remember, my beloveds, there exists a magic mirror."
 
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munboy

Re: Factors influencing X words per day clubs
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2019, 07:50:11 AM »
Consistency is my biggest factor. The more I write, the more productive I am...that seems like a "duh" statement.  :icon_rofl:

In other words, when I write I can crank out more words per hour when I'm being consistent with writing every day as opposed to letting the real world distract me. When I have the daily juices flowing, I can hit around 800-1000 words an hour. When I don't write for awhile, I'm lucky to get out 300 or so...and those are a struggle.

I equate it to artists. You'll hear them talking about sitting down to do "warm up sketches" before working on the pieces they plan on working on. It gets them in that frame of mind. Same with me. I have to get moving before the words really start flowing. If I do it often, that "warm up" period is a lot shorter.
My approach is to aspire for clarity in SIP. Once clarity is obtained, the WC swells. Hence, consistency is only a consequence of clarity, in my opinion. It is as if you know all the answers for a 3 hours University exam. So, you can imagine the speed with which you write.

A novel is a series of SIPs. Each one demands a different kind of rigor. Hence, as the transition happens between SIPs, there is always groping and confusion. This, in my opinion, is good.  Hence, I wholeheartedly welcome inconsistency.

An intelligent person is always inconsistent. Only idiots are very predictable.

I'm not sure if you just called me an idiot or not.  :icon_rofl:
Oh no, not you! :cheers

I just made a generic statement. That's all.

Groping, assimilating, adding and deleting...these are the ways a writer "pays the price" to produce stories. It is the way of creativity, which always moves in unexplored domains. Same for artists of any profession.

 :icon_rofl: :icon_rofl: :icon_rofl:

I think we could combine our posts to a better understanding. I think clarity is a good word for what I need. Consistent writing gives me better clarity to be more productive. I lose that clarity when I don't do things on a regular basis.
 
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VisitasKeat

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Re: Factors influencing X words per day clubs
« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2019, 11:34:04 PM »
Consistency is my biggest factor. The more I write, the more productive I am...that seems like a "duh" statement.  :icon_rofl:

In other words, when I write I can crank out more words per hour when I'm being consistent with writing every day as opposed to letting the real world distract me. When I have the daily juices flowing, I can hit around 800-1000 words an hour. When I don't write for awhile, I'm lucky to get out 300 or so...and those are a struggle.

I equate it to artists. You'll hear them talking about sitting down to do "warm up sketches" before working on the pieces they plan on working on. It gets them in that frame of mind. Same with me. I have to get moving before the words really start flowing. If I do it often, that "warm up" period is a lot shorter.
My approach is to aspire for clarity in SIP. Once clarity is obtained, the WC swells. Hence, consistency is only a consequence of clarity, in my opinion. It is as if you know all the answers for a 3 hours University exam. So, you can imagine the speed with which you write.

A novel is a series of SIPs. Each one demands a different kind of rigor. Hence, as the transition happens between SIPs, there is always groping and confusion. This, in my opinion, is good.  Hence, I wholeheartedly welcome inconsistency.

An intelligent person is always inconsistent. Only idiots are very predictable.

I'm not sure if you just called me an idiot or not.  :icon_rofl:
Oh no, not you! :cheers

I just made a generic statement. That's all.

Groping, assimilating, adding and deleting...these are the ways a writer "pays the price" to produce stories. It is the way of creativity, which always moves in unexplored domains. Same for artists of any profession.

 :icon_rofl: :icon_rofl: :icon_rofl:

I think we could combine our posts to a better understanding. I think clarity is a good word for what I need. Consistent writing gives me better clarity to be more productive. I lose that clarity when I don't do things on a regular basis.
:goodpost:
I think you make a very good point here.

Do you need clarity in order to post consistent WC?

I don't think that it is possible to be consistent without clarity unless you write unrelated scenes on a daily basis.

If you go ahead in the logical order, the search for clarity happens. Once again, ending this search soon depends from one author to another: how talented, spontaneous, and creative, they are as they finish off the SIP.

So: Consistency or clarity? Which comes first?

Exceptions apart, I  feel it depends on whether you are an outliner or a pantser.

Are we in agreement here?

« Last Edit: January 15, 2019, 11:39:40 PM by VisitasKeat »
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munboy

Re: Factors influencing X words per day clubs
« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2019, 01:35:39 AM »
*snip*
Quote
:goodpost:
I think you make a very good point here.

Do you need clarity in order to post consistent WC?

I don't think that it is possible to be consistent without clarity unless you write unrelated scenes on a daily basis.

If you go ahead in the logical order, the search for clarity happens. Once again, ending this search soon depends from one author to another: how talented, spontaneous, and creative, they are as they finish off the SIP.

So: Consistency or clarity? Which comes first?

Exceptions apart, I  feel it depends on whether you are an outliner or a pantser.

Are we in agreement here?

Argument? Naaaa. Discussing ideologies.

I guess I should add in the fact that I have ADHD. I take a very low dose Ritalin that helps out some, but I have to have consistency to focus. I don't do well when I'm freewheeling. There's too many distractions. Which also means I'm an outliner, but even with an outline, I have to have focus and clarity and for me, personally, that comes with consistency. For me, it's not which comes first. They're inseparable. Without consistency, I can't have clarity. Without clarity, I can't be consistent.
 
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VisitasKeat

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Re: Factors influencing X words per day clubs
« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2019, 11:14:04 PM »
4. Running Average (RA):

RA = TWC/(Total days passed for the year)

Now, how does RA differ from ADWC?

The thing with RA is that it can provide instant gratification. It will always give you a meaty number even if you have written a few thousand words.

RA, however, does not provide a direction for the future. I mean, for the rest of the year. Importantly, it does not train your subconscious mind to provide food for thought for the coming days.

Here is where ADWC scores over RA. Since it is measured from day number one for the entire year, you know when to accelerate or decelerate. This readies the subconscious in advance, and it provides you the required input for the WIP (and for future projects) just when you sit before the computer the next time.
 
Logging ADWC is more effective in overcoming "writer's block" as against logging RA.
https://www.amazon.com/author/roxiepowers

"Whenever you sight a rainbow bridge, remember, my beloveds, there exists a magic mirror."
 

angelapepper

Re: Factors influencing X words per day clubs
« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2019, 01:49:05 AM »
I'm a bit late to the thread, but thought I'd add what works for me.

I have ManicTime installed on my writing laptop. It automatically logs time in applications, and so I'm able to easily track the time spent in my writing application each day. I keep a running spreadsheet of words per day, and also time.

That way, even if my word count is low but my time is high, I get credit. This helps keep me on track for things like revisions,