I've been working pretty hard over the last couple of months on the fourth book in the Jimmy Coates series, which is going to be called Jimmy Coates: Sabotage. (Click the link to find it on Amazon.)
I've finally reached the point where I'm ready for somebody else to read it, so I've handed it over to my girlfriend. She's going to have a flick through and let me know where I'm going wrong. I've no idea what she'll make of it. I'm quite prepared for her to say things like, "Er, Joe, you've written it all in ancient Greek."
I've no idea.
Anyway, while she reads it, I have a few minutes to run through the stats that I keep track of while I'm writing a first draft. Here goes...
I'd already planned out the plot, but I sat down to start the first draft of JC:S on Tuesday 10th October. I finished a very rough first draft 85 days later, on January 3rd. (I've been editing since then.)
According to my work diary, I wrote on 41 of those 85 days, at an average of 1753.1 words per day that I was writing. My target is always 2000 a day. My most productive day was Thursday 21st December, when I wrote 3622 words, finishing work at 1.22 am the next morning.
I finished work after 1am on 32 of those 41 writing days. I worked past 2am 14 times. I finished work before midnight 4 times.
How does all this compare to my last book? Yes, that's what you're screaming to know isn' it? Well, it felt like this latest book took me much longer, but looking back at my work diary for Jimmy Coates: Revenge, that took me 39 writing days , at an average of 1888 words per day. So, surprisingly similar. My writing days on JC:R were spread out over a period of 91 actual days, so again, that's pretty similar.
So why did I feel like this one was taking me longer?
Maybe it's to do with the quality of the snacking. Unfortunately, I sometimes forget to note down what I'm snacking on (I'm took busy eating it), but there is a surprising lack of toast in my work diary. Also, I don't remember a lot of chili toasted almonds (one of my favourite snacks), chocolate covered sunflower seeds, roasted broad beans...
So the the lesson we can draw from these stats is - even if snacking doesn't make you write faster, it can make you feel like you are. Which is just as good.