Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What's Your Track Record?

Since I write generally only Monday to Friday's, with weekends being strictly family time, I've gotten two days in so far for this year's NaNoWriMo challenge. And I've been tracking my writing time and word count closely. What I've discovered is that for me to write 3500 words, I need a solid four hours of butt in chair.

My goal is to write 60,000 words this month so that I can complete a whole first draft in one amazing momentum-building chunk. Broken down, that means I need to write 3000 words/day with one extra day to spare. So I'm glad I'm off to a good start with 3500 on each day so far, but I find myself trying to suppress this huge desire to increase my productivity in those four hours. What I'm wondering is, is 3500 words in four hours really all that good? Seems a bit slow to me.

I don't want my writing to be total garbage, so I do pause as I click away to make sure I'm working toward or against a goal as the case may be in each scene. And I'm concentrating on keeping tension/conflict carried throughout, so I guess I'm not following the NaNo rules totally by blocking the internal editor 100%, but still, am I producing at least on average for the time I'm putting in?

What about you? Have you kept track of how long it takes you to put in a certain word count? Am I in the ballpark, or way behind? Any suggestions on how to speed my creativity up?

If you're doing NaNo this year, I wish you increased momentum throughout the month. If you're not doing NaNo, I still wish you much joy in whatever part of the writing journey your dabbling in right now.


Book Giveaway Reminder: If you haven't commented on my Monday post for a chance to win Patti Lacy's second book, What the Bayou Saw, scroll on down to my last post and comment away if you want to be in the drawing. The more the merrier.

Surrendering to Him,

Eileen

32 comments:

VR Barkowski said...

You're doing great, Eileen! At least you're way ahead of me. I did 3032 in four hours. I haven't been able to totally shut out my IE, but that's okay. While I want to win with 50k, it's more important I have a kernal of a work I can shape into something special. That's a win too. Looking forward to reading today's comments.

Rebecca Nazar said...

After three days I'm running an average of 1,700 words, which takes about two hours. Looks to me your pace is fantastic, so continued zippyness. :-)

Jody Hedlund said...

You are all way faster than me! I blame it on the research I have to do while I write! But in reality I probably think too much as I write! Glad you're on track and getting so much done Eileen!

Joanne said...

I'm not doing NaNo, but love cheering on those who do. 3500 words sounds pretty intense in four hours. If you want to increase it, can you end each day plotting out the next writing marathon, so you have some sort of guide as you go? Write on!

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Glad, kinda, to hear I'm on track. I was half hoping that improvement was coming.

Jody, I'd agree that research really slows the writing down. With contemporary at least, it's far more managable than the historicals you write.

Joanne, great suggestion. I have been cutting out at the start of a new chapter. Just write enough to get me right into the scene at hand so that I mull it over through the night and as I make breakfast and packed lunches for the family. It does help! But I'm still at 3500 words in four hours unfortunately with that.

Jennifer Shirk said...

I've never timed myself but I would guess I get about one third of what you can write in four hours. I. AM. SLOW. :)

Wendy Love said...

I haven't figured out any of that stuff yet...I am too busy writing! This is a break.

Tamika: said...

Sounds like you are on a good track, your word count is awesome. I am sticking to the 1667 words a day. It is really amazing that I have been able to push forward with this writing goal. I am a slow writer, and I love seeing myself pushed to the limit.

Maybe after NaNo I will have a new writing regime.

Faith said...

I try to seriously follow the 'no edits' rule and do very minimal research while I go, adding things in brackets to tell me where I'll need to go back and add important information. I can write about 500 words in a half hour if I type slowly, but I've gotten up to 1200-1400 words in an hour if I know what's happening in the scene and I just plow through it.

One fantastic way to get the words down is to set a timer and participate in a 'word war'. Or, set your own goal and use the 'Write or DIE' timer online (type it into Google, I'm not sure what the URL is offhand!). That WILL keep you writing!!! I find that refusing to give myself excuses to stop and think... or edit... and just plugging away makes a huge difference. Yes, I'll need to edit like the dickens later, but NaNo is about quantity, not quality :)

Lyn said...

I'm terrible about being distracted. It's my bane, along with being terrified of Doing It Wrong. Wrongly?

http://writeordie.drwicked.com/

Gorgeous blog, Eileen. Your word count seems really speedy to me. Best wishes for a good, productive NaNo.

Georgiana said...

Are you writing in one long sitting? I don't think I could concentrate that long! Go you! 3500 words in a day is amazing.

If I seriously focus I can get close to 1000 words in an hour, but I could not sustain that, and I feel a bit drained afterwards. On a normal non-NANO day I can do around 2000, so the NANO goal for me isn't too bad, but writing on the weekends will be tough.

Anna said...

That's a great ratio, I don't see any problems... :)))

Rosslyn Elliott said...

Yes, you're zipping along. If I have a crazy-good writing day, I may produce 3500 words in six to eight hours. Usually I do more like 2500 in a day. And that's with a couple of days to ruminate in between writing days. :-)

Cindy said...

You're doing a great job! If I'm focused and into my manuscript, I can do just over 1,000 words in an hour. More if it's quick dialogue. Unfortunately, with hubby out of town (has been since NaNo started) I've had to do my writing in increments instead of large chunks. 250 words while the oldest daughter is doing her reading. 1,250 while the youngest is taking a nap. And then once they're into bed I can get in a fairly good amount if I can stay awake :D But it seems to be working because I have the rest of the day to think about scenes, so when I sit down I am ready to go and the words start flowing!

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

3500 is great! Good for you!!!! Happy writing!

Jill Kemerer said...

You are doing awesome Eileen!! And I just told my daughter yesterday, "it doesn't matter how fast you get it done, it matters that you get it done right."

I can't turn my internal editor off while writing. I write some scenes in no time at all while others take forever!

Keep up the good work!

Stephanie Faris said...

I've probably worn you guys out with my favorite productivity tool. Usually I write around 500 words in 10 minutes but then I take a long break and do another 500 words. Here's the site:

http://writeordie.drwicked.com/

Erica Vetsch said...

Everybody writes at a different speed. If I know where I'm headed and have a clear vision of the scene, I can write about 1K words an hour. I also find it hard to completely stifle that internal editor, though I try to just get the words on the page. I'm on pace for 2K words a day so far and really looking for that breakout day where I can put out 5-6K words.

Susan R. Mills said...

I think that word count in four hours is great. For me, it depends on how easily the words are coming. I prefer quality over quantity, so some days, it takes me four hours to write 1000 words. You are doing great!

Jeannie Campbell, LMFT said...

right now, i could no more carve out 4 hours to write than the man in the moon. seriously. too much going on. so i'm glad i'm not doing nano. but great for you! you're sticking to your goals!

jeannie
The Character Therapist

Tara said...

It's great that you're sticking to your goal. I've never actually counted my word count per hour, but it sounds like you're writing at a pretty good clip.

Katie Ganshert said...

You're doing awesome, girl! I'm really hot and cold. Somedays the words fly off my fingers and I can crank out a lot of wordage in a relatively short amount of time. Some days cranking out 500 words seems to take forever. It just really depends.

I think it's hard to say what's "normal" because we're all so different. Some poeple can just crank out the words...that's just them.

So excited for your nano participation! Fun to watch your progress!!

Kathryn Magendie said...

I never think of it too much....I don't know if I used to - I think I used to think about daily wc much more than I do now.

Turn that self editing off off off and just get those words down for Nano - you can fix it all later --sometimes when we just write with abandon we tap into some subcon place and some real gems appear....

DreamDancer said...

Just wanted to drop in and tell you I have a little something for you on my blog. Hugs and keep writing... you're soooo good at it!

DreamDancer said...

Just wanted to drop in and tell you I have a little something for you on my blog. Hugs and keep writing... you're soooo good at it!

Alissa said...

Too chicken to do NaNo, but it sounds like you are moving along at a pretty good clip. I think everyone writes in a different way and a different pace. I've also noticed that not all first drafts are created equal.

MightyMom said...

thank you so much for stopping by!!

sorry I made you blusheth. I'm not always so crass...but sometimes it just pops out! ;-)

please feel free to stop by just anytime.

I cannot imagine what it would be like to sit and crank out 3000 words.....course with 5,4, and 2 yr olds I can't imagine what it's like to have butt in chair for 4 hours writing either!

So, do you have trouble composing on the computer? I do better composing in my head or on old fashioned PAPER *gasp* then typing it up with embellishments.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Eileen -

You're doing great!

I'm producing about 3,000 words in four hours. This includes a couple of very short breaks to stretch and rest my brain.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Linda Kage said...

Sounds like you're doing wonderful to me. And 60K? Wow, an overachiever. Good Luck!

Terri Tiffany said...

I am amazed that you are writing that much!!! You GO!! I can't wait to see how well you do by the end!

Keli Gwyn said...

Kudos on your excellent progress, Eileen.

Karen said...

I'm doing NaNo, too. If I do not stop to think and simply follow my characters as they go on about their business, I can write about 1,000 words an hour. But, I'm a thinker and a picker. I have to admit NaNo is really providing me with some great therapy in that arena though as I just don't have much time to stop and think -- that's why I decided to do it. I want to see what the result is when I don't stifle my imagination. I'm at 10,000 now. I'm hoping to hit 15,000 by the end of the weekend. We'll see. Great job on your progress.