Thursday, January 2, 2014

Math? Writing Goals? What!?

In my last post, I mentioned some New Year's Goals.  That was a big step for me.  Usually my resolution is not to make fun of other people's resolutions.  Usually I break it within the first few days.  You know, just like everybody else does.

But I've been setting goals with my writing.  Most of them have been short term goals and they've helped me focus on what I need to achieve.

So, I declared in my last post that I wanted to achieve a "Race" score of 60.  That's a solid goal that will have me writing all year.  But, how can I break that down on a shorter basis?  Better yet, how can I do that within a system that is already working for me?

Last night I spoke with a friend about this, and we talked about breaking it down.  There's several paths to 60.  To put some arbitrary numbers to it, let's call it 50 short stories and 2 completed novels.  That's a lot, especially for a guy that's only a third of the way through his first novel.  But stick with me.

I've kept track for two months of my daily word count.  For anyone that wants to know, I wrote 27,000 new words last month.  3000 words shy of my stated goal yes, but the accomplishment still felt good.

I yearn to be more prolific, but I understand what it takes to write at that pace.

Typically, I'd like to put out 7000 words a week.  That's 1000 words a day, but not every day is going to be
like that.  So assume I take a day off of writing each week.  (I won't, but let's build that into the system.)

So- 6000 minimum words a week.  For 52 weeks.  That's 312,000 words if I make the goal.

Figure 60,000 words for each of the novels.  That leaves 192,000 words.  Divide that by 50 short stories.  That's 3840 words, which is a pretty good size short story.

Throw in the work I've already put into the first novel and the "Race" score of 12 I currently have and this goal is looking more and more achievable.

Not every writer enjoys math, but man is it working for me.