Time to fess up!!!

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Here is a question for all my fellow writers, both published like myself, and those who just love to write for the sheer joy of doing so. How many hours do you spend writing each day and how many words does it involve?

Ever since I changed the way I write from how I used to in decades long since past, when I would spend all day and long into the night to achieve a daily word count in the thousands, I now stick rigidly to a short but extremely intense daily session when I have a new story in mind.

I find this is the method that works best for me. If you are wondering how long; these days I limit myself to adding no more than one to two hundred words per day.

Once I get back into the swing of things, I start writing at five in the morning, finishing promptly at eight am. I find that to continue beyond that three hour working window of 100% concentration, means that silly errors will inevitably begin to creep in due to my state of total mental exhaustion by the end of each session. The rest of the day is taken up with a lot of thought about where the story wants me to go next while I carry on with my normal daily activities.

Years ago when I was still in the workforce I used to spend two to three hours writing each night from Monday until Friday. Then on the weekends I would write for twelve hours on both days. On public holidays the number of hours sometimes stretched from twelve to eighteen. While to the novice, endlessly pouring out words might seem to be the only way to write a story, trust me when I tell you it isn’t!

In fact its often the worst possible way of going about it. If you don’t believe me, just look at the hundreds of thousands of poorly written books out there by writers who convinced themselves that high daily word counts is the only way to go. A daily three hour session is by far the best way from my point of view.

I would love to hear how you go about it, but I know most of you are reluctant to own up. There is absolutely no excuse for you not joining in here. You never know, you might even gain some useful ideas and tips on the subject from one another. So leave your thoughts for others to read as comments below this post.

16 thoughts on “Time to fess up!!!

  1. I write in short bursts, whenever I feel the muse. It might be a few notes in a coffee shop or a garbled dictation onto my phone. I also sit down and do an hour at the start or end of the day. It might be work on a novel, it could be a blogpost. Whatever I do, I try to write something every day.

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  2. When i was still woerking I used to get up at 5am, put in an hour and then again an hour in the evenings. Later when I wrote for a living I wrote all day with only breaks for meals and an hour quality time with the children. Now I’m retired, I write most days as I get the shakes when I don’t write, but spend most of the day at my laptop. To date 18 books in just under 9 years so I must be wroting more than I think I do!

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  3. I like your 3 hour window concept. As an aspiring author that does have a literary agent, I have had to hop off a new WIP to revise one that is closer to being shopped around. I think with revisions it is easier to sit for longer than 3 hours because revisions are often as left brain as it is right. In terms of writing on my WIP, I have a 6-year-old and a 9-month-old, so I have to be flexible with my time. I write Monday – Friday while they’re in school. Some days I go beyond 3 hours and other times it is hard to get any words out in those 3 hours. I do try to stay consistent. The weekends are tougher for me because the whole family is home so there are lots of distractions and people vying for my attention.

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