Friday, June 10, 2011

How fast do you write?

Thanks to my daughter, I've recently become hooked on this test. For a minute of your time, it will reveal your typing speed.

When I put my mind to it, I can reach a fairly consistent and comfortable typing speed of 70 words per minute - which puts me some way off the top score, but also a long way from the bottom. So I'm happy.

This means, in an hour of typing (allowing for a ten minute break - I don't want to risk a repetitive strain injury), I should be able to write 3,500 words. So I should, in theory, be able to manage the first draft of a 50,000 word romance in a little over two working days.

I'm sure I don't need to tell you I can't write a first draft anywhere near this quickly. In fact, my output on the writing front can be pretty dismal: I missed my 35,000 word target in our Minxy April Word Count Challenge. And I failed the 50,000 word requirement of Nano a couple of years back, which is shocking when you think that, going by my theory, if I'd written for 7 hours every day for 30 days I should have produced an impressive 735,000 words. Honestly - I've double checked - 70 words a minute x 50 minutes out of every hour x 7 hours in every day x 30 days in November is equal to 735,000 words.

Of course, I have a day job. But, if I maximised output every writing hour, the Minxy Challenge and Nano should have posed no problem.

So, why can't I write a faster first draft? The best I've ever managed is 1,200 words in 55 minutes - a long way off what should be my personal best.

I know you have to factor in thinking time, but surely I should be able to think faster than I can type? And generally the idea is fully formed by the time I sit down at my keyboard, so those words should surely fly onto the screen. Perhaps if I didn't waste so much time on novelty websites I might be able to get more work done.

Did I tempt you to check up on your typing speed? Let us know how you got on. And, how quickly can you write a first draft?

PS: Last week's spotlighted author, Wendy Marcus, has announced her contest winner as Jennifer Probst. Jennifer please contact Wendy through her blog.


Rachael Johns said...

What a great test! I'll be having fun with that some I reckon. I got 73 words per minute!

Scarlet Wilson said...

Suzanne I know why you can't write a faster first draft - that's easy. Our brains don't work as quickly as our fingers. I'm not kidding, I've been able to type 100 words a minute since school, can my brain go that quickly? Not for more than 2 minutes - after that........

Karen said...

This is where having trained as a typist comes in handy. My score is pretty respectable, yet I struggle to string a whole sentence together at times!

penandpaints said...

Arrgh! I managed 43 words a minute and that was after a few goes! I think my fingers need a work out, they're getting lazy!
As for typing lengthy works, I need to factor in a LOT of thinking time, not to mention research and thinking and emails and thinking and blogging...

Nas said...

Hi Suzanne,

Wow! You girls rock! I thought I was fast, but I'm no where near you girls speed!

Anonymous said...

HI Suzanne!! First off, I cannot wait to get my hands on Wendy's new release - I plan on reading it in one night! Second, I love this post. I can type 70 words a minute. I was the high school typist champion and have not lost my touch. BUT...I certainly cannot put out a rough draft that fast. I think and ponder too much. I go back and edit. I have failed to reach two contests at 50k but I usually squeeze about 30-35 and I take it proudly! Sigh, if only I could write even faster! I would have many books behind me..but again, quality is most important, not quality!!!