2k to 10k and Fun with Data

Back in June, I referred to Rachel Aaron’s 2k to 10k blog post, and commented that I have trouble tracking my word count at different times and locations because I don’t go straight from blank page to written scene. But that hasn’t stopped me from trying, and using the result to make some plans…

A couple weeks ago I read Aaron’s 2k to 10k ebook based on her blog post. She goes into a little more detail, and also discusses the rest of writing (plotting and editing). Reading it reminded me that it was time to export my data from Bento and fire up my Mathematica program to look at how I’ve been doing. I’ve been noting when and where I write/revise/plan, the wordcount for writing sessions (whether outline-ish draft or prose-ish draft), and a general Productive? Yes/No/Maybe feeling for all sessions.

(As an aside, I have run across comments from people who say that only beginners think this much about writing time/schedules. To them I say: beginners and people who know how to have a good time analyzing data on a Saturday night!)

The conclusions:

* My morning session is unproductive. Now I feel less guilty for skipping it most days–generally all I do is sync my documents and come up with a vague plan for what to work on at lunch.

* I get the most words per session done at coffee shops. That’s because I tend to work longer there than at home, where I’m called away by laundry and cleaning and internet.

* I get the highest rate by using Write or Die at home, because it forces me to ignore the distractions. But I only use it for short periods of time. I’ve never tried setting it for more than 30 minutes. (I’m not sure that program is still available or maintained. From the comments on his blog, many people have been unable to download it.)

* Session length doesn’t seem to matter to my productivity much. Probably because I don’t have big open blocks in my schedule so mine are all under two hours.

* I’ve marked Yes to the Productive question for several lunch sessions that I spent planning and revising. Nearly all of my evening (at home) planning/revising sessions are marked No. I suspect I can blame that on the internet.

That all sounds very vague and obvious, but it did inspire me to make some changes to my schedule. I’ve done away with the morning session, and shortened the lunch one. I’ve been using the extra time for internet and email stuff, since I’ve been avoiding the internet after dinner (well, mostly). There’s nothing I need to do in the evening that can’t wait until morning. If I can stick to that (and with Freedom I have little choice) I’ll get a lot more done. I’ve also bought a nice new chair for the guest room, so I might go hide in there and pretend I’m in a coffee shop when stuff in my office is calling to me.

What’s your writing schedule like?

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