Brenda Cooper

KEEPERS — A book by the numbers

So the first draft of Keepers (the sequel to Wilders) is turned in!

I track my time, and it took 255 hours to get the book to this point. The first entry was in February. So that’s 9 months, at roughly 28 hours a month, although in reality there were three big pushes and much dinking in between. Finishing my MFA meant interruptions, and then I took some time away from it for short stories, and for promoting Wilders and the 10th Anniversary edition of The Silver Ship and the Sea. There are probably 100 hours left in redraft after comments, copyedits, and page proofs, and then another 100 or more in promotion, but most of that will probably happen next year.

I think I would call that binge writing – you can see the hours on the first part (which ended up being my thesis) and then the dip for other MFA things and two more rises.

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For reference, I’m a little over 1100 hours for the year on my writing career including writing, promoting, conventions, travel, and the final semester of MFA work (much of which was actually work on the first part of this novel).  So I’ll finish the year around 1300 hours on my writing career, plus full time (usually 45-50 hours a week) on my technology career.  I will make something like fifteen times as much money from my regular job when you consider benefits and all that this year, and it gets worse when you add in writing expenses (those conventions and ads aren’t free!)

Writing – the avocation where you add a greater than half time job to increase your income by less than ten percent, but you love almost every minute!