So today I’m writing with my little timer software set to the stopwatch instead of the timer. I’ve started each session with the intention of writing until something distracts me. Surprisingly, my session lengths have been pretty regular.
This is an experiment, really, because I’ve tried straight-up timing my sessions before (versus using the timer to limit session length) and I didn’t have much luck with it. It was time to give it another try, and I’m pleased with how it’s working out.
30 minutes. 384 words. 768 wph. I stopped because my phone dinged with a message in Hangouts.
36 minutes. 214 words. 357 wph. Too much cycling and editing of session 1 words.
25 minutes. 98 words. 235 wph. Way too much editing of the words from sessions 1 and 2.
20 minutes. 106 words. 318 wph. I stopped because I’ve been drinking too much tea this morning and I had no choice. :D
43 minutes. 399 words. 557 wph. Frustration with my plot stopped me this time. I had to have a break or I was going to break something. :D
35 minutes. 281 words. 489 wph. More plot frustrations!
16 minutes. 212 words. 795 wph. Stopped by the phone ding again.
I’ve reached my day’s minimum word count.
It should not have taken me all day to do 3.4 hours of writing, but it really did. I made a note of the start time in my journal, and it was 11:19 am. I ended session 7 at 6:52 pm. So for 3.4 hours of writing, I used about 7.5 hours of the day. I wrote out a (ridiculously) long summary of where my time went and it made me realize my expectations of how much actual, focused time I can get out of 7.5 hours in the middle of the day might be unrealistic.
Getting my expectations in line with reality might go a long way toward keeping me from coming up with ridiculous plans for myself that I have no hope of following through on. Grandiose plans, I think that book The 7 Secrets of the Prolific called them. (It was a good book, if you haven’t read it.)
Yes, I make grandiose plans. I use math to support those plans, and I never build in the time I need for writing these posts, making my notes by hand, or anything else that probably uses up significant chunks of untracked time.*
I’d like to come up with some ideas of how I can stop that from happening, but the only things coming to mind are things I’ve tried a thousand times before and found completely ineffective. And I’m not willing to make myself stop these posts. Although I should probably give some serious thought to trimming them down to basics. I ramble. A lot. And talk about stuff that doesn’t really matter. Mostly because I think better when I’m writing things out, and it’s also easier for me to remember things I’ve written out.
Anyway, I should end this post, because I’ve actually been at it since (*holy shit) 9:04 pm and it’s now 10:04. There you go, an answer to the question of what happens to all that time I lose during the day when I’m writing.
These posts really do use up significant chunks of time. This could explain why my best month ever of writing consistently was February 2013, where there’s a distinct lack of posts here on this blog (as in, none) because I wouldn’t let myself get online before I’d finished my day’s writing and by the time I was done, I just didn’t want to write anymore. (See this lone March 2013 post for February’s numbers. Ignore the rest of the post for the sake of my pride. :D)
Anyway, I now have more to think about than ever. It’s starting to look like the more I write here, the less I write there, and that’s not a good thing at all. In a sense, I’m using up my writing energy writing everything except my books.
I need new habits that prioritize my fiction writing. So tomorrow I’m going to start a little experiment. No more wordy blog posts for a while, and not even an unwordy one unless I’ve finished my day’s writing. I’ll give it a while (a week, maybe two) and see if it makes any difference, good or bad.
- 1,694 words
- in 3.4 hours
- for a pace of 498 wph
In fact, looking at this post now, it’s 724 words long! Seriously, ugh.