A few days ago, I was reading a blog post about writing, and one of the points was to avoid distractions. Today, I was writing again and after being done, I decided to think about how much of that time was actually spent writing. I was not using stopwatch or seriously tracking it (as it would be another distraction and would slow me down even more) but as some guess it should work well.
So, my progress was one chapter. Okay, 90% of it, I’ll need to finish its ending when I think out the details. Anyway, it was around 3000 words and took me something around 4 hours. How much of it was actually spent writing?
There is a bit of time lost when I switch to music player to add something to the playlist (I’ll probably make a blog post about my choice of background music at some point). But the main point is alt-tabbing to internet browser. I rarely prepare any facts I might need in advance and so it often happens that when I need to check something on the internet.
That can be something as simple as spelling or meaning of a word (I verify that by reverse translation and synonyms), something I used several times to make sure I use a word correctly (this is mostly when using a work I’m unlikely to use in daly life).
Most of my time spent not writing while writing is spent tabbed out to wikipedia. There were times when I was checking the usual habitat of a plant or animal just to make sure it is not misplaced.
Today, my search included various articles from felines through rodents and even seagulls as I was writing a chapter where several characters explore tropical rainforest islands. Eventualy it brought me to look up bow fishing (first question I had: is it even possible?), ability of birds to eat and eventually catch fish as well as some searches related to volcanoes (which are present on the islands).
I guess that of the four-ish hours I spent maybe one hour looking up stuff. By the way, capybara meat is supposedly tasty. I chose bow fishing over hunting rodents anyway.