Measuring productivity

Did you ever have one of those days that you thought wasn’t productive, then when you looked at it objectively you realised that actually it had been? Not hugely so, but not shockingly under par. Actually bang on, if you hadn’t raised your expectations for no reason at all…

Yes, in case you haven’t guess it, that was me today. After doing absolutely nothing on my novel yesterday (I think my brain was temporarily burnt out after Thursday’s marathon) I did my two chapters and then read somebody else’s book. *Gasp* *Swoon*. Yes, I actually read a book for entertainment. It was lovely. Maybe even more lovely because it is an old favourite: Just Desserts, by Sue Welfare. If anyone is contemplating ditching some dead weight, also referred to as dumping your boyfriend/husband, buy/recommend them this book. It made me laugh, even on this, the twentieth reading.

I didn’t write quite as much today as I was doing before Thursday’s insanity, about 2,700 words. I was getting up to 3,300 but it took my mind a little while to get into the flow of the story today. Added to which I first had to get rid of the headache which has been dogging me for the last three days, but eventually it sodded off, so that was ok.

I aimed to write more today, but upon achieving my two chapters I gave myself permission to read something else instead of write. I think this is part of the writing process. I have seen it mentioned by other people recently but I have never promised original thoughts here, only that I would express my own thoughts and here they are.

There is a bag of self-proclaimed Mixed Frozen Vegetables in my freezer. This was a deliberate purchase, it didn’t just apparate one Tuesday afternoon. When I first opened it, about three months ago, you can imagine my confusion when it turned out to be full of whole baby carrots. My thoughts regarding this are almost exactly the same as my thoughts regarding reading and writing.

Firstly, while I am not averse to whole baby carrots, I feel that you can have too much of a good thing.

Secondly, variety is the spice of life. I have no desire to tuck into my whatever-it-is-I-cooked-and-intended-to-have-with-mixed-vegetables with a mound of whole baby carrots on the side. I prefer variety.

Today I would have liked some chocolate, but that will have to wait until Monday. I may lose some weight over the next couple of days. Not being able to live on fish, chips and chocolate for a few days could be beneficial to me and my health. And my waistline. Variety can come in handy in all sorts of ways that just sneak up on you when you aren’t looking.

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About Mhairi Simpson

Writer, dreamer. Magic, dragons, pink mice, cake. Come say hi!
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10 Responses to Measuring productivity

  1. Mike says:

    I admire the fact that you work so diligently on writing your book. I know that’s the advice that’s out there but I’m an extremely slow writer. And I can’t work on it all the time like most people out there. I’ve written four books in ten years (that shows you just how slow I am). I don’t think it makes me less of a writer as my other colleagues in this blogosphere…it just makes me the turtle that all you jack rabbits go running by on the road.

    • Well, I’m only writing as much as I am right now because I’m laid up with a back issue, so there isn’t anything else to do. I think it’s better to be proud of actually finishing your novels than of writing them quickly. I’m not actually proud of how fast I write, it’s just one of those things. The story takes off and I have nothing else to do but write it, so I might as well.

      Of course the best thing is to write quickly and finish the novel, but there is something to be said for writing more slowly. You think things through more and presumably don’t have to edit so much when the time comes.

  2. alberta ross says:

    It’s a bit like reading some people are just quick – however although i have always read extreamly fast I found when nursing my mother and forced to listen to her audio books (sooo slow) I found I was hearing many things going at speaking pace that i had missed on my speed reading – a whole new diamension. I write quicky also but to make the end product a good read for others I have to do a mass of editing and a rewrite of certain areas. Different ways of working – no one way the correct – only whats comfortable for ourselves. four books is four books more than someone who hasn’t started – four more than most of the planet will ever write –

  3. Trisha says:

    Well, at the moment I’m mostly working on revisions, and my novel is undergoing some serious upheaval, so I feel like I’m in a big mess. But at the same time, it’s the right kind of mess to be in. 😉 My novel is getting better, thankfully!

    • Yes, I haven’t got to the revising stage yet, but I can imagine you get to a part where it’s somewhat like cleaning a really untidy room, where it looks worse than it did before? I’m sure it will be great in the end. If you can tell that it is improving then that is a very good sign! 😀

  4. Madeline says:

    Thanks to your Thursday insanity, I’m actually inspired to try writing 10,000 words on my current WIP tomorrow since I’ll be home all day. 😀 I honestly don’t read much though, I spend too much time writing. I’m glad you are writing a lot of your novel, I’m sure it’s an awesome one!

    • Wow. I’m so happy that I inspired you! Let me know how it goes!

      As far as the reading is concerned, I just do it in gaps in between writing, oftentimes for a change of scenery. I have a hopelessly short attention span 🙂

  5. Adina West says:

    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. Sometimes our expectations of self simply aren’t realistic, and we end up feeling frustrated and dissatisfied even when we HAVE actually achieved something lesser-but-still-good.

    Definitely food for thought.

    And yes, I like carrots, but woman cannot live on carrot alone. 😉

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