Tuesday, September 05, 2006

I Guess ...

The challenge was 30,000 words in seven days. My final total was 16,605, a little more than halfway to the goal.

In my previous career as a computer analyst, I often had to estimate deadlines for projects. For this challenge I went with my gut feeling that I could reach the 30K mark. What if I had used my prior skills to evaluate my chances?

First, my tested typing speed is about 50 words per minute (WPM). I can't expect to have a constant rate of 50 WPM, what with stops and starts, typo corrections, and minor battles with M$ Word. Let's be conservative, say 30 WPM, which translates to 1,800 words per hour.

During the challenge I had five days where I was productive for 3 hours, and one day for 1 hour. I was sitting at the keyboard for a much longer period of time, but must deduct time for coffee, bathroom, and stretching breaks. Not to mention feeding the cat, checking the latest Red Sox loss, etc. A total of 16 hours for a potential 28,800 words.

But wait! Let's not forget the golden rule of estimation (works for budgets, deadlines, and the amount of time it takes to get one's child ready and out the door). After all calculations are done, double it. So for this example, 28,800 should require 32 hours. The most I could reasonably expect in 16 hours would be 14,400!

Clearly I far exceeded the resonable expectations. I will now reward this amazing feat of statistical hoop jumping with another cup of coffee. Right after I feed the cat.


Blogger Cheryl said...

See, I went on the knowledge that I can put out 1200 words in a half an hour. (or hour, by your doubling technique. Quadruple-squared by actual results!) So, with only two hours a day, I could meet the goal.

What I didn't figure was that I can turn out 1200 words without thinking. For this, I have an outline.

I think I'm chucking the outline. Peter is fighting me on his character, already things have happened that I didn't plan, characters have walked on, and I'm extremely frustrated and preoccupied with thoughts of Vegas next week. Woot!

Mama's gonna get a groove on! I'll either come home refreshed, or able to afford a nanny. Either way, I win! (No family funds will be harmed in this venture.)

September 6, 2006 at 8:09 PM  
Blogger Todd Wheeler said...

Darn characters misbehaving. :-)

Good luck in Vegas!

September 7, 2006 at 7:21 AM  

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