The idea of the intangibility of that mental state in estimating the time is of the greatest importance. Why is it intangible? Isn’t it because we refuse to count what is tangible about our state as part of the specific state which we are postulating?Wittgenstein, PI§608
Many of the writers I work with think of writing as a very intangible process. A good way of seeing this is when they tell me that it took them “a whole week” (or several weeks!) to write something. They don’t distinguish the tangible from the intangible parts of the process, so they count their reading and thinking and worrying about their writing as part of the time they spent “writing”. But writing, properly speaking, is what actually happens on the page. When I ask you how long it took you to write a paragraph, I’m asking you how many minutes you spent writing it. When I ask you how you did it? I don’t want to hear about all the reading and thinking and considering-how-others-did-it that you did. I want to know how you composed in the moment.