2010 Morning Pages Statistics

05:09 Tue 04 Jan 2011
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2010 is the first year in which I consistently kept metadata such as tags, writing time, and wordcount for my morning pages, which means it’s the first year in which I can do certain kinds of data analysis on them; this post covers what I think is interesting data about the 392,582 words that I wrote in my morning pages in over 240 hours in 2010.

I write them every day, no exceptions, with a minimum length of 1000 words. I try to write them in 30 minutes or less, and I’m supposed to write them in the mornings (hence the name); the latter two targets I achieve less consistently than I would like.

The average wordcount in 2010 was 1075 words, and the median 1042 words, both of which seem about right; I rarely write really long pages, but often go over the minimum.

The longest morning pages I wrote was 2347 words long and took an hour and 18 minutes, starting at 07:36 Sunday 05 September 2010. The shortest was 1000 words long and took 30 minutes, starting at 11:19 Tuesday 11 May 2010—at 1000 words and 30 minutes exactly, and having been started in the morning, it’s like a statistical Platonic ideal morning pages instance.

I don’t have writing duration data for all of them, because I didn’t make than an automated process until a little into the year and apparently forgot to include it a bunch of times; six pages are missing that. From the remaining ones, I calculated an average writing duration of 40 minutes and a median of 37 minutes. That’s higher than I’d like, but not too bad.

The morning pages that took me the longest time in 2010 took one hour and 56 minutes, way too long to write 1426 words; the main subject matter of that one was a summary of a Q’Rith game from the previous day. Normally when I have a single subject to concentrate on, I write relatively quickly, but I appear to have been highly unfocused on the morning of Thursday 25 March. The least time taken was 21 minutes, written on Sunday 08 August in Manchester Airport—I often find that travel, or perhaps the absence of easy internet access, helps me focus and hence to write my pages more quickly.

Naturally, I use wordcount and writing time to provide another statistic, words per minute. Average 2010 WPM was 28.827274299, median 28.825. Highest WPM was 48.285714285714285, unsurprisingly the same pages done in Manchester Airport; lowest was 11.225806451612904, an hour and 33 minutes to write 1044 words—those pages were also late, started at 16:07 on Monday 29 March, and I was sick and recovering from Sectionals, which might explain the sluggishness.

So how did I do in terms of starting my morning pages in the morning? Not that well; I started them after noon 103 times in 2010 (three times after midnight). My average start time was 11:57, which is cutting things pretty close, and the median was the slightly better 10:47. Earliest pages were at 05:03, in Dublin Airport on my way to Italy on 29 July; latest were 01:30 on the night of 16 July, in San Francisco and with no good reason for delaying them that long.

I’ve thought for a while that the amount of time it takes me to write my pages is a good measure of how I’m doing; however, I haven’t yet figured out another metric to test that hypothesis against. I should probably graph writing time or WPM calendrically to see whether or not there are any meaningful patterns there, but that will have to wait for another day.

Up next: similar metrics applied to my blog posts for 2010, of course!

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