Yesterday was day 51 of my challenge not to have another zero word day. :)
I wrote 1,873 words.
Right now, I’m trying to get to a comfortable 3,200 words a day. Which I know sounds like a lot, but even for me, with an average pace of 500 words an hour, that’s not a ridiculous amount of daily writing, especially when distributed between multiple stories (giving me plenty of time to refuel the muse per story).
Here’s the math, again, just for show.
3,200 ÷ 5 hours = 640 words an hour
Five hours of focused work is a lot. Most research shows that people working an 8 hour job typically do between 3 and 5.3 hours of productive work. There’s nothing more productive for a fiction writer than writing fiction. :-)
But I’m happy to give writing 5 hours of my focused time each day if I can manage it. :)
That’s the biggie for me. I tend to be able to get 2-3 focused hours of timed writing and that’s where it all kind of falls apart. Long breaks, distractions, and the desire to read all end up keeping me from getting more time in. I’m working on it! :D
Also, I ran across a little something this morning that has me convinced that I shouldn’t bother experimenting with timer lengths any longer. I use 20 minute timers most of the time, although I do try longer and shorter ones sometimes, but according to this: “Attention span begins to decay significantly after just 20 minutes. Therefore, after 20 minutes of intensive study, stop.”
I didn’t follow up with the sources, but I’m willing to take it at face value because of my personal experience and experiments with timers of varying lengths.
I am apparently fully within the group of people this applies to. I’ve been using 20 minutes as my preferred timed writing sessions for years now, ever since I discovered that they don’t cause me to feel so interrupted as a 15 minute timer does and that I don’t find myself glancing at the time left before the timer dings.
(Confirmation bias, I know. If you know of a source that reputably disputes this, feel free to drop it in a comment, otherwise, I’m perfectly happy to accept this as true.)