Goals: process goals

So for the record, my idea of professional output is 7500-10,000 words a day. Right now I’m 1/10 of the way there for today.

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5 Responses to Goals: process goals

  1. Mark Baron says:

    That is an astonishing amount of words a day – well, it is for a part-timer like me at least!

    • epbeaumont says:

      I was a pro writer (“nonfiction-we-hope” i.e. memos, contracts, proposals, technical documentation, trouble-shooting) for over 20 years. So my approach to nonfiction is set a timer and write without stopping, as if I’m on the clock. Depending on the project, my words-per-hour range from 1000-1800 (fiction) to 2000-3500 (nonfiction if I know what I’m talking about). A great resource on writing productivity is Rachel Aaron’s 2K to 10K: pretty much tells all the secrets, including the ones I didn’t know I knew. 🙂

  2. Jean Lamb says:

    Ok, but be careful about burning out (your hands as well as your soul here). Holly Lisle talks about pushing herself too hard (and straight into carpal tunnel) by trying to go up to 12k a day. When I finally have a whole day for writing at a whack, I may end up training Dragon Naturally Speaking for first draft stuff, because my Nana’s hands went to heck and gone when she was old, and I would hate to see mine go the same way. I understand your experience has conditioned you to levels I can only admire from afar;

  3. Jean Lamb says:

    Oops, left you in mid-sentence…”I understand your experience has conditioned you to levels I can only admire from afar, but I remember what happened to Holly Lisle when she tried it.

    • epbeaumont says:

      The secret is short bouts. Write like a mad thing for 45 minutes, then leave it alone and go attend to other business. Learned that one by accident when I worked as a consultant, and it’s served me well in avoiding repetitive stress. Ninety minutes is the outside limit for bouts of intense intellectual work.

      Dean Wesley Smith’s “Writing in Public” series of blog posts illustrates this in the daily routine of a full-time writer. His bouts are about as long as mine, 45-60 minutes, and the breaks are provided by the copious business responsibilities that life provides even for those working their dream job.

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