Reflections on a Year

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I don’t know if I’ve posted about it before, but just over a year ago, I started tracking how and on what project I was spending my writing time.  This includes everything from research/development, to editing, to critiquing, to career research.  My ultimate goal is to get to 2,000 hours written total, which is the point at which one is considered “proficient” in a craft.  10,000 hours of work means one is a master.  Given that I’m at 1626.5 hours to date, I’m close to proficient, but far from a master.

 

Another benefit of tracking is that it’s ended up teaching me a lot about how and when I work and where I spend the bulk of my hours.

 

On August 13, 2012, I completed my first year of tracking.  In that time, I have:

  • Done 118 hours of research and development (including outlining)
  • Spent 185.25 hours on first drafts
  • Spent 45.75 hours editing
  • Written over 195,000 words
  • Spent an average of 6.7 hours/week on writing or related tasks

 

Of those hours, I spent:

  • 208.5 on novels
  • 34.5 on short stories
  • 34.25 on critiques
  • 18 on blogging
  • 16.25 on my April Screnzy graphic novel
  • 6 on flash fiction
  • 31 on other writing related projects

 

I think it’s pretty obvious that I need to spend a little bit more time editing, so I expect to see those numbers creep up over the next year.  I also want to start spending more time on short stories (which kind of means that I need to start writing more of them), although I am generally pleased with where I’ve spent the rest of my time.

 

I was a little surprised by the total number of words and especially the weekly hourly average, given that it was about 5 hours/week a few months ago.  Clearly I’ve gotten that much more serious in the last few months!  It’s interesting to see how I was rather slow the first few months, but that quickly picked up in the months that followed.

 

Theoretically, in less than 400 hours (about a year at my current rate) I should be close to ready for publication.  That is and has always been the ultimate goal, but I think that a little more dedication, much like I’ve been putting in recently, will really help.  Of course, the time I put in can only do so much – it needs to be quality time too.  And that’s the real struggle, isn’t it?

 

How do you track where you’re at with your career?

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