The Deep Work Experiment: Week 4

Here it is, I am officially one month into the deep work experiment. During this time I’ve been committing myself to really and truly working on my novel – giving up my attention sapping social media habit, and trying to schedule uninterrupted sessions of working time in order to complete my first draft by the end of September.

This week was a bit of a challenge as I had a friend visiting and staying in our small apartment. Regardless, I managed to hit the following word counts:

June 20 823
June 21 1046
June 22 1329
June 23 506
June 24 0
June 25 329
June 26 381

Another successful week at just under 4,500 words – and bringing me to a total of around 17,000 words for the month.

As I look forward, I can tell that the next month is where I need to get disciplined – and where I need to actually put some more effort into my deep work activities. So far I have mostly relied on being off social media to help me focus on my novel – but as I enter the next phase, I need to really work on concentrating for longer stretches of time, grappling difficult questions, and not relying on the many other ways the internet can amuse me to procrastinate from work.

Why do I know the next phase is going to be more difficult? Because it always is: this is the stage where I (traditionally) run out of steam. The initial blaze of the idea has simmered down, and now comes all the tough stuff. The research. The piecing the plot together. The creating of those little scenes that keep the plot moving but just never feel quite that exciting. This next phase is the graft. 

I’m resigned to the fact that my word counts might drop a bit during this phase, but I’m trying to remain optimistic. The only way I’m failing is if I abandon the project – and there’s no sign of that yet.

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