Last year, about this time, I crossed the one million word mark for words. It’s a number I’m pretty proud of because it’s concrete. But let’s face it, numbers can be misleading.
There’s this 10,000 hour rule. Specifically, there was a study that said you need 10,000 hours of experience in something before you’re an expert at something.
I’m not gonna lie, but when I heard the 10,000 hour rule, I sort of assumed I already had that down. Just the amount of time it takes to type a million words seemed, off the top of my head, to be enough to qualify. Which of course led me to the land of numbers.
I type at approximately 60 words per minute. I have written over a million words. This is easy math. If all of those words flowed out just as fast as I could write them, then I spent ~17,000 minutes typing.
I admit, that’s not nearly as long as I thought it would be. It seems like it should have been MUCH longer. But, these are numbers, so I followed them down the rabbit hole.
17,000 minutes is just under 300 hours.
Not even a thousand hours of typing went into my books.
So yeah, with NaNo approaching, and me feeling a bit overwhelmed with all the working and what not, I think that’s a bit of an eye opener. In fact, if we knew exactly how the story went and were just taking dictation, a book could be written in just fourteen hours of typing.
I mean no novel to NOVEL in one really long day of typing?? CRAZY.
So yeah, as you’re sitting around thinking about the monumental task of going all NaNo, just remember, it’s really only something like two regular work days worth of typing to log a Novel. No big.*
And for the record, I’m not saying it’s easy, but you know, those numbers should make the task seem doable. Also, if you’re one of those people who actually write at your top typing speed, you could make the NaNo deadline by typing just thirty minutes a day for a month. How awesome is that?
If you weren’t able to put it together, I’m thinking about NaNoing this year… I haven’t decided yet. There are some other factors to look into, but I’m trying to psych myself up for it (can you tell?).
*And by No Big, I mean big―BIG―deal. Writing a novel is really hard, these numbers are really for word vomit, but I sometimes think it’s good to look at numbers to see what they can tell us. Novels are like marathons. Still, I was totally shocked at how little time is invested into the actual typing of words.