Monday, January 31, 2011

I See Numbers

Last year my job required me to take an Excel workshop. I'm not sure the expense the agency paid was worth the small amount of use required at work, but I'm not complaining. What I learned, I brought home and incorporated into my after-hours writing career. I built a spreadsheet to track words written on WIPs, my blog posts, and book reviews.

On Jan. 1st, I began monitoring my writing habits and productivity. To my surprise, I discovered that I liked being accountable to a chart designed with my favorite colors, with columns and boxes and totals galore. I can easily turn those into pie charts and graphs and forget how much I hated those things in math class. You see, math is not "my thing."

Oh, I can solve those mathematical equations, teeth gritted and fists clenched, under protest. But, really, who cares how fast Timmy has to walk to get to the station before the train going 55 miles an hour from Cincinnati arrives at 3:45, if he leaves his house at 2:15. I'm more concerned with why is Timmy walking alone? Where's his parents? Why can't someone take him? And why the heck is he going to the train station in the first place? That's why I'm a writer and not a mathematician. Much to the dismay of Mr. D., my tenth grade geometry teacher.

Maybe if we'd had Excel back then, my life would've had a different direction....Yeah, probably not. It's not the science of formulas and what-not that excited me when I began using my spreadsheet. It was seeing the numbers. Numbers that titillate rather than fill me with trepidation. Numbers that equal words written. Numbers that finally mean something to me.

A glance at January's spreadsheet revealed 12,011 words completed on Howlin Grace (current WIP), 2,152 for it's KRISTAL kLEEr, 1,756 for NKotWB, giving me a grand total of 15,919 for the month. Not too shabby. Of course, I'm a goal-setter. I'll have to best that number in February. Quite a challenge, too. February is a short month. I'd better get busy!

  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • RSS


Total Pageviews