Sunday, June 20, 2010

Another Look at Work Data

I figured while I was vacation, I really couldn't expect to get much data that would serve any purpose when I tried to use it 'back home'. But I did try a little experiment a couple nights this past week: There were a couple times when I actually got the computer for a couple hours at a stretch without any external distractions (such as my spouse asking things like, 'Are you done yet?', 'Did you see that email from ….?') So I sat down and opened up a story I'm trying to take from outline to rough draft, and I just worked through, to see how quickly I could manage it. My speed was about 500 words per hour. Wow. Am I good or what?

I suppose that doesn't sound like much. During my time as a secretary for a day job, I would have thought that a paltry amount. After all, I kept trying to get my typing speed up to 100 words per minute!

However, I now know that typing from copy and typing while composing really can't be compared like that. I already knew that typing from dictation could take 3 or 4 times as long as the voice took to say it (depending on how perfectly they wanted it replicated). When I researched these types of things, in order to set my price for free-lance typing, I discovered that composing (while typing) had an average speed of 5 words per minute, or about 300 words per hour. I'm able to work so fast on this particular story because large chunks of the 'outline' is already in rough draft form. It's too bad I wasn't paying more attention to how fast I was working when I composed the outline!

So, I would guess the rule of thumb is that if you are looking to write your rough draft, and you want to get down 1000 words per day, you should probably plan to spend at least 3 hours a day at it. Subsequent drafts would, I hope, move along faster.

I'm headed home now, and should be able to get back to something resembling a work schedule. See ya next week.    Trudy

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