The Mystery of the Mismatched Writing Speeds

I write nearly every day. On the business side, I write blogs, brochures, and websites. On the fiction side, I write short stories and novels (well… just the one right now). I’ve been doing this for years now—nearly a decade. And over the course of my writing career, I’ve noticed one very weird thing:

My writing speeds don’t match.

“Whuh?” you say? I say it too!

I used to think I had one consistent writing speed—you know, like how people have one top speed for running. But all that changed when I tried the Pomodoro method and put my writing to a timer.

I discovered that my business writing comes out at a much faster pace than my fiction. When I write blogs or articles, it takes me about 20-30 minutes to get to the 500 word mark. When I write my novel, on the other hand, it takes me nearly an hour (sometimes more).

This was a very annoying realization, because I’ve been trying to get my book out the door for ages. Here was Fiction Me, chugging away at 500 words an hour and trying console himself that he was doing his best effort, only for Business Me to speed by and leave Fiction Me floundering in his wake.

As frustrating as it is, it’s also kind of reassuring. I can increase my writing speed. I just have to figure out why Business Me works so fast and replicate the conditions.

Time to break out the metrics (Ugh. Metrics)!

What about you? Do you notice anything weird when you write two different things?