a blog for the writer in all of us
It’s the end of July and I’m nearing the end of my Camp NaNoWrimo challenge. This time around I set my goal at 20,000 words for the month. And as of this writing I need less than 3k. For the first time ever, I will hit a Nano goal. WOOT! I may have to buy a tee-shirt!
Over the last two years I’ve spent more time editing my works than writing them. At least I think so. It seems like the writing takes a certain amount of time and the editing takes two to three times as long. So how can I increase my productivity? I have so many amazing plots swimming around my head. Just the other day I came up with a concept for a fantastic contemporary series. But I have three series already in progress. Wait, I actually have four because I have one I’ve never published. When am I supposed to write a new one?
The solution? Write faster.
I’ve already looked at this before with RACHEL AARON’S 5K TO 10K, and that really did help me at the time. With Rachel Aaron’s system you look at when you are most productive and where you are most productive and start there. And I did that. I love writing in the morning, after I’ve woken up, had my coffee, taken the dog for a walk, and had my shower. So, nine am. But…what’s happened since I figured that out is that my schedule changed. Time that I am most productive is now the time I have to be at my job. That’s a bummer. So my writing speed has dropped. I’m struggling to hit 1,500k per hour. And I’m struggling to find a consistent time to write.
Enter 5,000 WORDS PER HOUR: WRITE FASTER, WRITE SMARTER, by Chris Fox.
That’s right. You heard me. 5,000 words per hour.
Now right off the bat I know I’m not going to hit that. And I don’t want to sound self-depreciating when I say it. Chris says in order to hit the 5k mark you have to use dictation. And I’m not ready for that. Yet. Give me some time. No, what I want to do is hit 3k. Consistently. If I hit 3k per hour on a daily basis that would mean I could put out a novel in a month and still have time for that pesky editing in the other 23 hours of the day.
I could still have time to cook my healthy meals, exercise, take care of my kids, parents, dog, cat, and my husband. WOW! Doesn’t that sound amazing?
Sprint! Sprint! Sprint!
Chris starts you off with sprinting. Now I regularly set my timer for 45 minutes and write, but he suggests five minute sprints and to time yourself. He even has a free ap (only for the ipad or iphone) that will help you do this and keep track of your sprints. Chris has you write for five minutes than multiply by 12 to get your Words Per Hour. So I decided this weekend to commit to five minutes every morning. After the first cup of coffee. Or maybe the second.
What’s the benefit of five minute sprints?
- Well, for one thing, they are very doable. At first I griped about doing even five minutes first thing in the morning. I’m not awake. I don’t have time. I need my coffee. (Okay, that last one is just pathetic. You can drink coffee while sprinting, although it does slow your time).
- I was surprised to find that my speed was pretty consistent the first three times I did it. Right around (or below) 1500 WPH. I seriously thought I’d at least hit 2k, even though I’ve been writing at 1.5 k for my longer sprints, I always do 45 minutes. So 2k should be my speed. But it’s not.
- You can really do a nice comparison with consistently using five minutes. I hadn’t thought about it before, but by cutting down the time I’m measuring and only focusing on writing for five minutes, I can really focus on the speed. And why I’m not writing faster.
- Chris says that by using the sprints you can increase your overall time. And I can see that. When I do the sprints I’m really aware that I’m still going back and fixing my spelling, or plot, or whatever. You can’t do that and write fast.
So it’s off to my Monday morning sprint!
I’m committed to trying five minute sprints for a month and seeing how they work. If nothing else I’ll get an extra 138 words in per morning. But maybe, just maybe, I’ll increase that speed and hit that 2k mark by the end of the month. I only need an extra 29 words, or so. And if I quit fiddling, I know I can do that. And look at the difference that would make.
138 wpm x 31 days= 4,278 words per month
166wpm X 31 days =5,146 words per month
That’s an extra 868 words per month, in five minutes per day. Imagine what that would do if I applied this to all my writing?
How fast do you write in five minutes? Want to find out more?
Time yourself and see how fast you write. It’s eye opening what five minutes can do.
You can listen to a fantastic podcast with Chris on the Rocking Self Publishing Podcast HERE. And you can find his book on Amazon HERE. It’s super short, packed full of good information, and only $2.99
Stay tuned to see what happens next! I’ll be letting you know how its going and if Chris’s other steps help me gain extra words.
Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com
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