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The Data Isn’t There

This summer, as you all have no doubt noted, I’ve had some real trouble with writing. My recollection, anecdotally, is that summer’s tend to be the doldrums of my writing year. I know that in Fall and Winter, especially when I lived somewhere those seasons were expressed with cold temperatures and turning leaves, my writing time and pace increases. This current lack of productivity, I’ve been telling myself, is just my natural writing rhythm during the summer.

Only, the data doesn’t quiet support that.

I should start by saying my data isn’t perfect. Over the course of a year, I’ll change up my writing tools more than once. My word tracking system is less than agile when it comes to adapting to new data sources, especially since that usually requires me to do some fiddling to make it work. Right now, for instance, I’m using a bastardization of Jamie Rubin’s scripts, with markdown as my format. Friends who have heard me praise, then moan, then praise again the virtues of Scrivener will now doubt roll their eyes at that. That does mean, though, some of my productivity isn’t always captured perfectly by the scripts I’m using.

That said, the data of my writing trends since July of 2014 (when I first started formally recording them) tells an interesting story. The biggest revelation to me, insomuch as the data is trustworthy, is the volume of writing being accomplished. Yes, quality is more important than quantity, I agree, but there’s definitely been a shift in the last three years. I went from at best a few hundred words per session, to at my peak last year writing thousands of words a day. It’s a peak I haven’t had since, but more on that later. The data also shows a clear trend of increased writing, followed by month long gaps. At least in that I’m not atypical this summer. But my recollection that I’m like this every summer? The 2016 data refutes that completely. In fact, the 2016 July data suggests I was really active last summer.

So, that peak in the data. I racked my head on why and how that was, but it was my lovely wife who pointed out that obvious. While I may have sat on it for a long, long time, it was last summer that I was both finishing the first draft of Chrysalis, getting it copy edited. It was also when I decided to take my first foray into self publishing with A Scent of Roses.

Sadly, none of that helps me this week. I’ve let myself slide too much lately, filling writing time with other things, chiefly The Last Guardian and then Mass Effect 3 (which I picked up for a song through a Father’s Day sale on the Playstation Network). The time for writing again is upon me. Tomorrow, I’ll post the excerpt I’ve been working from for The Mermaid’s Tears. The book is (believe it or not) far enough along that I don’t think it will diverge too much from this blurb. Let me know what you think!

Also, on sale this week for just 99 cents, you can get Chrysalis for your Kindle! Member of Kindle Unlimited? Then you can read it for free every day!

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