Tuesday, June 16, 2009

How OCD Am I?

I often joke about being OCD, but I'm starting to realize just how true it is. Just ask my husband, who has had the unenviable task of hanging pictures in our joint domicile. The frames had better be straight, with equal distance between them on the wall, and by God, they'd damn well better match. I am capable of biting my tongue and letting some things slide, but a crooked picture frame or asymmetrical knicknack arrangement can often drive me absolutely batshit.

My OCD truly shines through when it comes to my writing, though, especially since (until this blog entry) no one sees its true extent besides me. I'm the type that has to make lists, organize computer files into folders/subfolders/subsubfolders/subsubsubfolders...and know my exact freaking word count of my current work-in-progress. (Is it any wonder that I was such an obsessive outliner until recently?)

I actually use MS Excel to keep track of (read: obsess over) my daily progress. No, really.

Here is an actual screenshot of today's progress:

Believe you me, I tear my hair out and scream all kinds of obscenities for hours on end until that 6th cell shows 100%. (Target EOD WC = Target End of Day Word Count...why? Don't ask.)

But of course, that's not enough Excel madness for this OCD chick. Oh no, how could I possibly let such convenient, list-making, formula-calculating, obsession-tracking capability go to waste?

I'm not content with just knowing the word count of my current work-in-progress. I want to know what my estimated final word count will be, based on the average word counts of my completed chapters.

Think I'm joking?

Think again.

So, by having this insanely obsessive little calculation running at the bottom of my outline (which is in MS Excel), I can anal-retentively guesstimate how long a given book will be. The above is for Breaking The Rules, which is looking like it's going to tickle 90,000 at the current rate. (The number in the upper left is the current word count...all of the formulas are based on that and the number of chapters or finished chapters.)

There is something seriously wrong with me.

So there you have it...a look at the Excel manifestations of the inner workings of my insane little brain.

Oddly enough, I'm a surprisingly crappy housekeeper and flippant chef. 1/4 cup? Meh, close enough. Heaping teaspoon? Eh, this looks about right. 20 minutes? Bah, what's one minute give or take? As for the house, well, if the dust bunnies could be controlled through list-making and Excel spreadsheets, I'd be golden.

But I'll be damned if any pictures in my house are hung crooked...


  1. You don't know me...I've been lurking around your blog for a month or two. Your experiences at present seem to mirror mine so I find myself sympathizing with most of what you write here.

    In response to this post...I don't know if you're OCD, but if you are then that must mean that I am, too. After reading this post I immediately opened my excel program and did the EXACT SAME THING! For months I've been trying to think of an easier way to keep track of my wordcounts. Now I have all of it in a central location and in a format that is easy to update. Thanks so much!

  2. Lori, you are a crazy lady, and I love ya for it. :-D

    (glosses over the fact that he has done similar in the past)


  3. Im going to teach Midget to rearange your pictures when your not looking.

  4. I want to laugh at you but if I do Billy may come on here and share my OCD tendencies.

  5. This...this just ain't right.


  6. Wow, you weren't kidding. You really are crazy.

    Love ya tons, though.

  7. Libbie - Oh please, like you didn't know how crazy I was already. ;)

    Fred - It IS right. It's the only right way. I can't possibly do it any other way therefore it's the only way so - *hyperventilates into paper bag*

    Misa - HAHAHA Yeah, that's what I THOUGHT.

    Anonymous Dave - Don't you dare.