More progress math

30 January 2013 13:54

Yesterday I blogged about the amount of progress I made in the past few weeks, and what the consequences were for finishing my draft. I estimated that to finish the first draft by the end of April, I needed to write 0.63 to 1% each day - double the output of what I’ve been doing for the past few weeks. Yesterday, my progress counter was at 38%. As of this morning, it is at 40%, quite a massive increase from the 0.3% I was doing the days before.

So, how did I pull this off? Did I make a dark pact with some ancient evil? Did I skip sleep just to get an extra percent of progress? Did I just copy/paste lorem ipsum text?

The answer is No, to all these questions. Basically, I did two things that vastly increased the amount of progress I made:

  • I spent more time writing yesterday (not just during my commute, but at home as well)
  • I finally finished an especially troublesome chapter, which had slowed my progress down to a crawl

So, assuming I can keep this up, how long would I need to finish the novel?

  • I have 60% to go
  • At 2% a day, I need 30 days to finish the draft
  • Even if I only work during my commute, I would finish the draft halfway into March

However, I don’t think maintaining this speed is realistic, though it is not my upper limit. A more realistic percentage would be 1.5% a day, or 40 days to finish the draft. If only working during weekdays, that would mean a finished draft by the end of March.

I think this is a worthwhile goal, so let’s turn that into an actual schedule (assuming I work only on weekdays): | Deadline | Required Progress | | — | — | | February 1 | 43% | | February 8 | 50.5% | | February 15 | 58% | | February 22 | 65.5% | | March 1 | 73% | | March 8 | 80.5% | | March 15 | 88% | | March 22 | 95.5% | | March 27 | 100% |

I’d say this schedule looks doable, and I get bonus points for finishing on the 27th.