Pither.com / Simon
Development, systems administration, parenting and business

Writing 10,000 words review

Yesterday I set myself a writing challenge, as suggested by Dan Norris, dedicating the working day to creating new content and attempting to produce 10,000 words.

Today I want to reflect on the challenge, see how I did and whether it was useful for me.

My Results

Trying to write 10,000 words (complete with proof reading and editing) in a single day is a lot, for pretty much anyone I think. For me, who spends a lot more time writing code than prose, it was certainly an extremely large number. Inevitably I didn't reach the 10,000 target but I'm still really pleased with my results and the experience.

I managed to write a total of 3,559 words during my working day. My writing time yesterday was unfortunately restricted to just 4.8 hours. I had a bad start to the day due to a disturbed night before that and other child related morning delays, a further hour was taken out of my day by a mixture of child interruptions and household chores (it was rubbish day) and another 45 minutes was taken by clearing my email and responding to a few urgent work needs.

I managed to produce approximately 3.3 blog posts, two of which are so far published (the others will be coming soon).

My Run Rate

So my total number of words for the day wasn't huge, certainly it was far below the 10,000 target. However my day was also shorter than the planned 7.5 hours, so how did I do for the time I had?

The target was 10,000 words in 7.5 hours which is about 1,333 words per hour.

Dan Norris managed 11,000 words in 7.6 hours - an incredible 1,447 words per hour.

I managed 3,559 words in 4.8 hours - a respectable 741 words per hour.

So I manage just over half the target writing rate and if I'd kept that rate up for a full 7.5 hour day I would have produced about 5,560 words in total.

Not the target, but still an awful lot of words!

The Experience

I decided to give this challenge a try as a learning experience. The articles I chose to write were all of a personal nature rather than for the promotion of any business interests (although my idea list did include some private business documents if I'd got that far).

In the very near future I'm going to be putting a lot of effort into marketing an updated version of my domain and hosting company, my property management site and hopefully a couple of other ideas I'm working on. This experiment was ideally timed for me to see if I could actually focus and churn out reasonable content at a decent rate.

Normally when I write I'm trying to get my point across in as few words as possible, to keep things clear or just to get to the important technical bits. Yesterday it was surprisingly liberating and enjoyable to be aiming for more words and hence allow myself to let them flow more naturally.

My Conclusions

Yesterday was a great experiment for me.

I discovered that I can write(!) and it's not quite as painful as I remember from school - at least when writing about topics I want to write about.

Most importantly I learnt roughly how quickly I can create content when I dedicate time to it. I'll use that information to help me decide which content to write myself and which content to get written by someone else in the coming months.

Add a comment