This is post number three in my Writing Faster series. Read post one, The Speed of Writing, HERE where I tell you why I would even want to try to write faster. Read post two, Writing at the Speed of Rachel, HERE, where I introduce you to the way in which I increased my writing speed to 2k per day. And this is post three, where I tell you how I intend to hit a minimum of ten thousand words per week and maybe even my goal of 3k per day.
Last week I introduced you to Rachel Aaron, a fellow author who managed to increase her writing speed from 2,000 words a day to 10,ooo words a day with three easy steps. Last week we covered step one, knowledge. Knowing what you are going to write can double your writing speed. Today we delve into step two.
I’am not even trying to get Rachel’s results, but am merely trying to hit 3k per day. I’m hitting 2k on a regular basis, but why is my average not 2k every day?
The secret to my dilemma is in Rachel’s step two. Time.
If you read Rachel’s book you’ll discover that utilizing step one, knowledge, she more than doubled her writing speed from 2k to 5k in one week. Wow! I could do that! But why am I not doing that. I’m using Rachel’s step one, writing down what I’m going to write before I write it, and it has sped up my writing. IN fact it has doubled it. But I’m starting with an average of 1k per day. What is going on?
It’s simple. It’s time. Time I have the butt in the chair and the fingers on the keyboard and I’m writing. Why is it that some time is better time to write than other time?
Have you ever tried to write when you are super tired? Or sick? Or someone is pestering you to take them for a walk, with melty brown eyes and a cold wet nose tapping your wrist?
Sure, all of you have distractions, and so do I. And so did Rachel.
Rachel put in some effort and discovered her most productive time. And she also discovered where she was most productive. She put those two together and hit a writing speed of 6-7k per day. What? How could she do this. Well once again if you want a complete explanation, check out Rachel’s blog HERE, or buy her 99cent book. But here’s the jist of it: she kept notes. Kept track of where and when she did her best writing. And she discovered that when she wrote large blocks of time her writing got better, and faster. And she found she wrote best in a coffee shop, away from home and distractions, and she also discovered what hours worked for her.
Writing when she was most productive increased Rachel’s writing, so therefore I need to find my most productive time. Now I’m not as organized as she is. If you read her post or her book you will find she made charts and graphed out all her writing time. How much time she spent at the keyboard, when, and how many words she got down onto the screen.
Yes, Mom, I should do that homework. But I didn’t.
Instead I just tried to observe when I was most productive. For some people it’s the evening. After everyone else has gone to bed and the house is quiet they sit up late with their writing and WALLAH! Ten thousand words magically appear in the morning.
That’s not me. As my husband will tell you I fall asleep in front of very exciting CSI episodes around 8:30-9pm on a regular basis. IN other words, I am not a night owl.
Jessica’s step one: Don’t even try to write after 6pm. CHECK!
So when am I most productive?
I’ve always thought of myself as a morning person. I get up at 6am every morning, have my coffee, field emails, get the children going, etc. etc. etc. But I tried writing in the mornings. Turns out my brain is still asleep. I’m good for reading blogs and making coffee, but for actual work? It’s not a good time.
And the mornings tend to be chaotic. People needing this or that or whatever. I have found that I write best when no one else is at home and I am awake. So that narrows it down to between 8am and 3pm. But I tend to walk the dog first. Remember the cold nose hitting my wrist that makes typing difficult. So let’s say between 9am and 3pm, when the kids get home.
That’s five hours! And remember, I can write at least 1k per hour when everything is good, and now that I’m using Rachel’s system I hit that 1k per hour all the time. So now I just need one more piece.
Jessica’s step two: Make yourself WRITE during your productive time
Oh, that’s a toughie. So many other things call my name. But that has been my focus since the beginning of February. My goal is to write three thousand words per day by the end of the year. So I’ve started small. Write ten thousand words in a week. That’s 2k per day. And guess what. I am doing that! When I sit my butt in the chair I am writing 2k per day consistently.
But I have yet to hit ten thousand a week. Why?
Well, it’s the butt in chair thing. We all know that!
Jessica’s step three: Really, really don’t do anything else but write those words until they are finished and don’t let anyone else distract you.
I’m still working on this. When no one is home I can get in a good solid two hours of writing, with a break for lunch and moving around in the middle, but I’m not starting at 9. Rachel did much better. She zealously protected her writing time. That’s where I fall off the chair. I answer the phone. I run errands. I make needed phone calls. I blog.
So, my challenge between now and the end of the year is the next time I am really writing a full book that I schedule a full three hours and write during the entire time. With breaks, that really would be four hours. And I need breaks or my hands fall off. No one wants that.
How are you doing? Are you sitting in the chair for a full hour? Two hours? Can you make Rachel’s five hours and still be writing? When is your most productive time? And where is it? Mine is at home with no one else there. Some people like the coffee shop. Some the library? What about you?