Last week, I did an experiment, and it was hell.
I'm not the type of person to be accused of being lazy; I'm prolific, but not because I write fast. Time and time again, I have told people I'm only prolific because I put a lot of work and effort into what I do. So, last week, I decided to track my productivity by hour.
What a pain in my ass. Seriously. I'm glad I did it, I even did it for three full days before I got a serious case of the ‘fuck its!'
Organization is important for me. So are to-do lists. I have a really crappy memory for things outside of my novels. My books consume the vast majority of my attention, and the rest dribbles out of my ears. I had a lot to do to prepare to release Pack Justice, so I needed to make sure I was getting everything done in a timely fashion. (I did succeed at this goal, so I was fantastically productive.)
However, this method was brutal on me. I already work hard–probably too hard–and all this method did was stress me out while making me work even harder. (That is not nearly a good of a thing as it sounds. I got a lot done, but… stress.)
But, since I did it, I thought I'd share what it looked like. I had to deal with interruptions all throughout, but this is a fairly good representation of my standard day, except I scatter it in different clumps rather than neat hour-by-hour representations.
|Time||Type||Starting Words||Ending Words||Total Count|
|5:00 PM||3 CH Proofed|
|6:00 PM||3 CH Proofed|
|7:00 PM||4 CH Proofed|
|8:00 PM||1 CH edited|
|9:00 PM||Blog Post|
|7:00 PM||1 CH Edited|
|12:00 PM||3 CH Proofed|
|2:00 PM||3 CH Proofed|
|4:00 PM||2 CH Proofed|
|6:00 PM||3 CH Proofed|
|12:00 AM||2 CH Proofed|
My average word count is 434 per hour, although I think I'm more comfortable with saying it's closer to 300 an hour, since I have these random bursts of good hours that skew things; they're so much more the exception than the rule. I only get so much done because of the number of hours I work, not the speed I work. Realistically, I'm slow.
I'm okay with that. I'm slow, but I'm hard working, and at the end of the day, I do care about results. I push myself really hard because I want to make this career work. Unfortunately, when it comes to writing, the only person who is going to force me to make it work is me.
On deadline crunches, I'll go back to hourly tracking, because it did force me to stay on the ball. For day-to-day life, however… I'll stick to my regular to-do lists. Those don't make me want to stab things.