I’m used to the concept of shortfall. For many years I monitored daily efficiencies (among other things) for a business. Efficiency was calculated from comparing actual output against maximum attainable output. Differences were due to down time.
How does that apply to writing?
Each writer has a unique formula for writing. Some ingredients we take for granted; i.e. you write, you have pen and paper, so write. By the way how fast can you churn it out? This presumes you have material ready made to be layered onto the page (or screen). I hear claims of being able to do x thousand words a day. That’s not me.
I produce at about 600 words a day – over a longish period of time. Some days I can produce more, but that’s an exhausting process that leaves me drained.
However you have to challenge yourself. I think I’ve improved in the past year or so, which is my starting point; I want to test it with a longer project.

So why am I doing several stories at once. My answer to this is I’ve already done a longer piece of work (160k words); now I think I should have a go at smaller, novella sized pieces. As for several at once – that’s a private test. The normal publisher arrangement pulls an author several ways at once (you’ll get this if you go to a writer evening at your local library and ask the right questions). I might never get into a publisher – author deal, but I think it’s time to see how I handle simultaneous ongoing projects.

What’s the prize? Self-satisfaction.

So, what’s the shortfall?
I said I’d be writing 1,000 words a day. My output is at 97% (97% efficiency!!!) which means I’m falling behind target.
Do I change the goalposts by setting a more achievable target? Naw. I set the rules; I play by them.


Why am I behind?
Research into Cherokee / Sequoyah, Omaha, Osage, storm patterns
… plus I found a better image of the enthronement of Ogedei (grandson of Genghis Khan) and I’ve been fiddling on Photoshop to see if there’s away to liven up the colours to the way I imagine they must have looked (naughty boy that I am).

About Terence Park

Board games, US Comic books, SF Paperbacks, Vinyl records; I've plenty of them all. I write SF (the serious sort). I also do spreadsheets.
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