Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Math Post

We all love math, right? There have been a number of math posts that have been helpful to me. So I thought I would show my personal math, how planning works for me.

First off, I am not writing full-time, yet. My goal is to be writing full-time in one year. That may sound like I'm over-reaching, but I'm not. The amount I need to make to replace my current income is pitiful. I am not rolling in riches.

This could be a negative, could be something that I let drag me down. However, my day job is very conducive to working on my writing education. An added benefit - this job will be easy to leave behind :)

Anyway, the math -

I write about 500 words an hour. I believe this to be a fairly average pace, at least among all the authors I have heard figures from. There are 40 hours in a normal work-week. 48 weeks of productivity in a year (time off for vacations, holidays, and sickness.)

500 x 40 x 48 = 960,000. Almost a million words.

Now, some more qualifications. I only edit as fast as I write, currently. So immediately cut that in half. Only 480,000 words. Two doorstoppers, four decent length novels, six slightly short books, or five shorter books, two novellas, and about eight short stories.

This is what I could get done, working a normal work schedule, if I was writing full-time. This is the hardest part of writing for me, actually, knowing how much more I could be accomplishing if I could go full-time.

My actual output is about 1,000 words a day, on average, in about 2-3 hours. Some days are much more, and some days (editing or not writing) are much less or none. I don't take days off, unlike the average work week above.

So my personal math-

1000 x 7 x 52 = 364,000. A little more than a third of a million. Only 120,000 less than produced by the full-time schedule above. Hmm...

So if I could average, say, 1,250 a day?

1,250 x 7 x52 = 455,00. 25,000 less than the full-time output. Double hmm...

So, what have I learned from my math? I am producing nearly as much as I think I would, writing 2-3 hours a day, as I would writing full-time. Absolutely nothing for me to feel bad about. The hardest thing to deal with as a part-time writer, wanting to be full-time and get more done, is a complete self-fabrication.

I am hanging a lot on that only actually writing new words four hours a day, of course. But I think that is pretty valid. So...


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