I’ve been thinking about the fact that I need to become more productive with my writing. This is my full-time career and I need to be more cognizant of that fact sometimes. I’m not really sure how to move forward though because I’ve tried all the usual stuff over the last two and a half years: rigid schedules, flexible schedules, word quotas, book quotas, time quotas, all of that, and I still haven’t broken through my own resistance to regular, consistent, daily writing. I’m honestly at a bit of a loss as to what to do. None of those methods have helped me at all. There doesn’t seem to be anything left to try. Right now I’m just trying to focus on the enjoyment I get from writing, hoping that will make a difference. Do I just give up and accept that I write as fast as I write and that’s it?
I read something recently about challenging assumptions. Maybe that’s what I should focus on. I should challenge my assumptions about myself as a writer.
Assumption: I’m a slow writer.
Am I a slow writer? Let’s see: I had to refer to my archived time data (I stopped logging time on 3/18/2015), but a few formulas later, and I see something a bit surprising.
I wrote more than 500 words an hour 56% of the time, more than 800 words an hour 17% of the time, and more than 1,000 words an hour 5% of the time. Is that slow?
I see the 1,000 words an hour figure dropped regularly by other writers, and I have no way of knowing what kind of copy they turn out: finished or rough draft work. I don’t guess it really matters, because almost anyone I know considers a novel a month fast. 2,000–4,000 words a day is what it would take for that, writing the way I do (clean drafts, final copy). 56% of the time I can write 2,000 words in less than 4 hours. So 56% of the time I can produce at a highly prolific pace, working less than 4 hours a day.
This belief that I’m a slow writer doesn’t seem to have a lot of basis in reality.
Really, this just emphasizes that I need to worry a lot less about how fast I write and worry instead about how often I write.
I don’t write often enough and I don’t stick with it long enough. That’s the crux of the problem I’ll need to solve if I want to be prolific.