Ever since I got serious about writing — which dates back to January 2002, I remember it well — I’ve been pretty compulsive about tracking my progress. I’ve got spreadsheets up the wazoo. It may seem a bit anal to some folks, but think about it this way: if you were a factory that made gizmos, wouldn’t you want to have good reliable data on how many gizmos you made a year, your sell-rate on gizmos, and just where in the world your gizmos were going?
My spreadsheets help me not only maintain a professional focus with my writing, they help me stay honest with how hard I’m working at it. It’s too easy to pretend you’re a writer if you’re not keeping track of how many words, pages, and manuscripts you’ve produced. I don’t want to pretend. I want to be.
Anyway, I was updating one of my spreadsheets when I came upon a number that surprised me. For the last six years, I’ve written 1,136,341 new words of fiction. Yay for me — more than a million words of fiction! That’s a lot of short stories and novels.
But hold on a minute. If you divide that number by the number of days (365*6=2190), you get . . . 519 words a day.
Which is roughly the equivalent of two manuscript pages a day.
That’s all. Just two pages a day.
Food for thought.