Category: excel charts

Insanity Roundup

Or, “What happened with Weeks 7 and 8?”

Let me explain something to you about procrastination: When you put off a project until the very last minute, that last minute gets jammed full of scrambling to do four weeks’ worth of work in two weeks’ time. I thought about writing a progress report for Week 7, but figured I could catch up in Week 8’s report. By the time Week 8 rolled around and I still hadn’t finished writing Bad Influences—much less editing, formatting, and finding a suitable cover—progress reports were the furthest thing from my mind.

So, without further ado: the Insanity Roundup.
The Workout (Month Two)
I’ll level with you guys—I gave up on the Max Interval workouts sometime near the beginning of Week 8 and went back to the shorter circuits. It’s not that I got bored, exactly, but…yeah, I got bored. Emily put it pretty well when she said, “I’d rather go twice as hard for 30 minutes than half as hard for 60.” So, if you want to get technical, Insanity: The Workout failed.
The Writing (Month Two)
If you’ve been following along from the beginning, you know that my goal was to write and publish one work in the time it took me to do Insanity (two months + 1 recovery week). I started on July 22nd, and that made my deadline September 22nd—this past Sunday.
But it turned out that Bad Decisions was the first in a series of short stories. I published the first on August 18th, under my action/adventure-writing pen name E.M. Smith. With a month left before the Insanity: The Writing experiment ended, I set a new goal to publish the second story in the series (working-titled Bad Coffee at first, changed to Bad Dreams, and finally titled Bad Influences, a combo of the two working-title storylines) before September 22nd.
God smiled on me, got my parents to take Oak and Bear for the weekend, and helped me cram a week’s worth of writing, revising, and formatting into Saturday. Sunday morning before church, I hit the “Save & Publish” button. Bad Influences and Bad Decisions are now both available in the Kindle Store for $0.99.
So, if you want to get technical, Insanity: The Writing was a success times two.
Rounding Up
So far, I’ve sold 15 Bad Decisions and gave away 496 copies during my free promotion days. I’m offering Bad Influences for free next Monday-Friday (to see whether day of the week affects the number of downloads). Much like Decisions, I don’t expect Influencesto sell much until after the giveaway.
I don’t really feel like writing the touchy-feely post about the ups and downs of self-publishing, self-imposed deadlines, and whipping oneself into shape today, but I will include the much-hyped Excel charts. I know they’re what we were all waiting for, anyway.
Insanity Fit Test Excel Chart
Insanity Word Count Excel Chart

Insanity: Week 6 Progress Report

The Workout (Month Two):

Golly. Just golly.
In 5k news, my dad had the boys for the weekend, so Josh and I skipped the Run through the Jungle and went to town for some grownup coffeehouse hangout time. Best decision we’ve made in recent memory.
The Writing (Month Two):
I still feel like I spent last week lazing off, even though my word count was up. Part of the problem is not being able to decide whether to ditch Bad Coffee and go straight for Bad Dreams (which in my original plans was Bad Decisions #3) or to stick Bad Coffee out. It comes down to whether Bad Coffee adds anything to the overall story arc—something I’m still trying to figure out.
Offering Bad Decisionsfor free over the weekend (Thursday-Monday) was a total success. The story was downloaded 496 times, went to the double digits (#33 at its best) on Amazon’s Action & Adventure Bestseller List, and gained one review (5-star). I promoted the story in two ways: changing one of the Amazon key words to “free,” and tweeting about it being “#free for #kindle.” Here’s a graph illustrating the Number of Downloads on any given day:
Thanks to the good people at Create-a-Graph Kids’ Zone for helping me make the graph. Apparently, it’s not important to label the axes, but whatever.
I can’t say conclusively whether tweeting helped. My results might’ve been skewed by time of day, holiday status, and day of the week. For example, Friday and Saturday tied for fewest downloads. On Friday I purposely avoided putting up any promotional tweets, on Saturday I put up three. Sunday my numbers climbed with zero tweets.
Thursday and Monday my numbers were high, but Thursday might’ve been new-freebie-on-the-block downloads and Monday might’ve been a result of the “last chance to get this free” tweet. Also, most of the downloads on Monday came at night—yes, after I posted the only tweet for the day, but also maybe because everyone was back from the holiday vacation and wanted something to read. There were just too many factors to say for sure whether tweeting made a noticeable difference.

The truly sad news is that my Excel chart usage took a dive sometime in the past week. I didn’t label it with actual calendar dates, only day numbers, so figuring out what the last day I recorded was is going to take some doing. You saw my cool graph, though, right?

Insanity: Week 5 Progress Reports

I’m going to be straight with you guys—I didn’t get much work done during Week 5. It was “Recovery Week,” but I still feel a little guilty about how many days I took off.

The Workout:
Recovery Week isn’t about not doing any exercise, but about doing less to raise your pulse and more to make you flexible and strong. Or something. I only did the Recovery Week’s workout—Core Cardio & Balance—a few times and I wasn’t paying much attention. Then Josh and I spent the next three days at the Lake vacationing with my family. My whole family. Everybody’s spouses and kids. Fourteen people. To quote Shaun T again, “That [stuff] is Ba. Nanas.” And other than swimming, I got no exercise over the weekend and I had my mommy cooking for me, so you know I ate good.
We began Month Two, the “Max Interval” stuff on Monday. I’m not sure I’ll live through this.
The Writing:
I wrote a total of 334 words on Bad Coffee. Six of the seven days I didn’t write anything at all.

Josh and I have a 5k this weekend—the “Run through the Jungle” here in town—and I’m also offering Bad Decisions for free from now through Monday. (My hope is that it will be a “Take a copy, leave a review” sort of sitch. We’ll see.) More on how all that goes in Week 6’s update.
I should mention that my Excel chart also took a hit during Week 5, but I updated it later. It wasn’t that hard to update, considering I didn’t write at all on the days I didn’t use my chart to keep track.