Friday, December 28, 2007

Yer End

Last Book Read: Dune by Frank Herbert

This month has delivered an abundance of introspection, analysis, and navel gazing. More than the usual calendrical summation, I've pondered the greater effort of writing these past couple years. As someone said to me in an e-mail: "What's the point of all this?"

In terms of goals, I've done well for the last quarter. The disappointments were not getting an earlier novel, Chasing Midnight into a marketable length, and not getting the new novel done during NaNoWriMo. But, I kept short stories in submission, and organized a great book launch. Really, nothing to be disappointed about.

The whole year has been good to me: writing friends found, stories published, and time to write. Nothing to complain about.

So, to get off the maudlin roller coaster, some cold, hard facts about the writing effort. Over the past 18 months, for all the goals set, I have a 50% success ratio. Not bad, but doesn't say much for my planning abilities.

For 2007, I tracked the amount of time I spent in writing related activities. I didn't capture each and every moment, but figure I missed recording every category at about the same rate. Total hours tracked climbed up over 400.

I was surprised that blogging came to only 8% of the whole. Enlightening was the fact that editing made up 33% while writing, new words on the page, was 23%. I'd like to flip that one in the future.

And writing/editing only comprised 56% of total effort. Maybe this is okay given the other activities (event planning, research, etc.) but it seems short. And given the 8,760 hours available in a year, spending just a hair over 4% of all my time on writing seems inadequate.

Especially given how little sleep I get.

Blogging is an easy target for redress. I've spent almost an hour on this post alone (and given the length, I'm sure you feel the same). Going back through all the posts, I discovered that four people who have made comments over the year plus have gone on hiatus or given up on their own blogs. And noteworthy for a blog on writing, the two posts that have gotten the most comments were about soccer and cartoons. So, what's the point of this?

It's fun. So blogging stays, maybe back to once a week. As for additional goals for the new year, I'm still thinking.


Blogger L.A. Mitchell said...

Hi Todd,
I'll add to those four responses:) I, too, have a novel called Chasing Midnight, so Google Alert brought me to your blog. Congrats on completing your new novel in November and smart of you to track your percentages for writing-related activities. I suspect my results would be suprising, too. Good luck with your 2008 goals :)

December 28, 2007 at 12:23 PM  
Blogger Todd Wheeler said...

Hello L.A. Mitchell! Congrats on Chasing Midnight. If I ever finish mine I'll have to find a different title. :-)

Thanks for the best wishes and stopping by.

December 28, 2007 at 11:27 PM  
Blogger L.A. Mitchell said...

Actually, I will too. There's a Romantic Suspense with the CM title out there--October 07 release, I think. Thanks for stopping by. Can I add you to my blogroll? I think we may have similar audiences.

Take care!

December 29, 2007 at 9:52 AM  
Blogger Todd Wheeler said...

Sure thing Ms. Mitchell. Blogroll away.

December 30, 2007 at 12:27 AM  
Blogger Steve Buchheit said...

Todd, it always amazes me the level of your metrics.

"What's the point of all this?"

If I didn't do it, the words would kill me. It's a disease, and the only cure known is a form of blood letting to get the bile in balance.

For me, unfortunately, blogging has vastly over taken my getting words out. So I've also thought of going on hiatus. But then most of my blogging is done at work where, even though the don't like the blogging, it would be worse if I just started working on my stories there.

Better luck to us all in the New Year.

December 30, 2007 at 8:12 AM  
Blogger Todd Wheeler said...

Well put Steve, about the bloodletting.

I figure as long as I don't start tracking the amount of time that I spend tracking the amount of time I spend, I'm on the safe side of psychosis.

As the saying goes, there are lies, damn lies, and statistics. May Tufte be praised.

December 30, 2007 at 11:50 PM  
Blogger Camille Alexa said...

Oh well. I'm afraid all good titles have been used twice over.

I think you are a superstar, Todd.

Good to have met you in '07. and this:
As someone said to me in an e-mail: "What's the point of all this?"

How many of us sad-sack writer-friend types do you have? Or was that me in the above quote?

January 3, 2008 at 4:51 PM  
Blogger Todd Wheeler said...

Camille! Thanks friend.

No, the quote was not from you. Through the virtual ether, I have made the acquaintance of several writers. The internet brings all those wishing company in their misery together.

January 4, 2008 at 12:38 AM  

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