Quantifiable Excuse

In my last post, I wrote that I was terribly busy and would blog more, and in the next post you’ll see here, I intend to talk about the idea of quantifying your life and my own experiments with bio-metric feedback loops and passively collected data. It dawned on me as I was writing the next post that I could create something that fits right in the sweet spot between the two, which wound up being this post.

I say I’m too busy to write, but am I? Today, I have some time on my hands, which is why today, and not yesterday or tomorrow, I will quantify my excuse: I have been too busy to blog and probably will be again soon. Let’s have a look at the data.

Following is a graph with a little over a year’s worth of data across three data points that encompass about 90% of what I spend my waking “work” time doing–the progress I made on the novel I’ve been writing (yes, the novel) against a guesstimate of the total number of research projects I was actively working on (all of which require lots of reading and writing as I delve into and explain new topics) and, of course, the blog posts I’ve written. Novel progress is defined simply by the word count of each successive draft I saved over time.


Before I graphed this I kept guiltily finding myself wondering if I fall into the clichéd camp of people who excitedly start a blog, pump out a ton of posts at first, then fade away as the upkeep of the blog outweighs the benefits of having a blog. However, as I see the ebb and flow of all my work in one place, I realize that I’m constantly writing. Suddenly instead of feeling guilty, I simply feel at capacity; less like a cliché and more like the super-smart Seth Godin, who famously (in my circles at least) decided not to use Twitter in order to focus on his blog and writing books. The reality of time is that it’s finite, and is one of the few truly universally limiting factors in life. So, I do think that as the novel writing process winds to a close (I finally managed to send a near-final draft off to a friend to edit) I’ll shift back to blogging. But, importantly (to me anyway) I realize now that if I don’t, I’m sure I’ll have a good excuse.