Friday, February 24, 2012

The Writer's Satisfaction Survey Results

The results are in for my most excellent, totally unscientific sample of you, my marvelous readers. Thirty-four of you condescended to answer my impertinent questions. Here is what you (and I) said.

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56% of us work full-time for someone else or own our own business.
12% are full-time stay-at-home parents with children under 14
6% write part-time for income
with a smattering of other situations

12% don't fit into any of the dozen categories I provided. Perhaps you are living off lottery winnings?

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Chocolate is the number one fuel for our creativity, with coffee following in second place. 29% of you state that your own determination is the only thing that keeps you going. I am definitely *not* in that category.

In the "other" responses you replied:

* chocolate soy milk (which I also love but let's face it, it's the chocolate that makes it yummy)
* your new dog
* water
* whatever is in the fridge
* the urge to create
* writers' groups.
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Nearly 1/3 of us spend 11-20 hours a week on writing-related activities, with 12% spending 31-40 hours.( I presume that is the same 12% who won the lottery, or perhaps the vampires? No, actually you are the really dedicated ones.)

We freely admit that we don't spend our whole writing time actually putting words on the page. The percentage distribution was fairly evenly spread between 25%-75% for most of us, with 50% as a happy median.

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1/3 of us feel that we are "Halfway there" to meeting our writing potential, with a little more than 1/3 "Growing by leaps and bounds." 12% are "Right where I want to be."

The vast majority of us (62%) plan to publish traditionally, nearly 1/3 plan to publish in a magazine or anthology, 24% are just writing for ourselves and 21% plan to self-publish.

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As far as our frustration level goes, 35% of us are "Somewhat or Very Frustrated" with our ability to complete writing-related tasks, while 35% are "Somewhat or Very Pleased," and 29% in the middle. A nice little bell curve there.

We do better at completing non-writing related tasks, with 50% of us feeling "Somewhat or Very Pleased" and only 27% "Somewhat or Very Frustrated." Your houses must be cleaner than mine. I think I took this photo just before having company. I am certain I took everything off the table, dumped it in a laundry basket and hid it in the basement.

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More self-discipline was cited by half of us as something that would help us be more productive, indicating that we are a conscientious bunch who don't blame other people for our problems.  Other things we chose include fewer distractions during our writing time, less stress and feeling more confident in general.

I intentionally left "more time to write" out of the answer choices because I knew everyone would pick it. I was not surprised to see it show up in several of the comments. A couple of you would like to quit your day jobs and just write full time. I used to think that too, but now I've changed my mind.

I mean, at least now I have a reason to get up and get dressed in the morning, rather than lounging all day in my pajamas and hiding from the mailman. Plus, people have to be nice to me or I won't help them design and analyze their surveys. Um, yeah. That's part of what I do for a living.


The "Hole" is what I hoped it would be... a place for writers at all different stages of their development to hang out. On average, we are.... average. We aren't as frustrated or dissatisfied as I expected. We see ourselves as growing and improving, and strive to be more disciplined. We have goals, but are also willing to follow our own courses.

I am "Very Pleased" to be part of such an awesome bunch!
 Here, have a cup of tea and a sandwich on me.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sunday Snapshot

It's time again for a Sunday Snapshot of your work in progress.  Post the last paragraph or several lines of dialogue that you wrote. It doesn't have to be perfect. It doesn't even have to be good. It just has to be yours!

The more, the merrier. I love reading snippets of what everyone else is writing.

Here's mine:

She caught one last view of the house as she drove away. A normal, white colonial farmhouse set in a diorama of green created by spreading trees and a ten-foot-high arborvitae hedge. Bright clumps of red and yellow mums sat on the porch, smiling at her through the rain.  She had no idea if she’d ever see it again.