Saturday, August 3, 2013

Conventional Wisdom says Writers Should Write Everyday.

Do thinking, dreaming, and planning on writing 7 days a week count?

For those of us that have demanding daytime careers, families, and long commutes 2-3 days a week are sometimes the best we can do.

In the winter when the sun sets at 5:00 pm there’s plenty of time to write, edit, and read. In the spring and summer there’s a different story.  And in my world this is ok, or at least I try to tell myself its ok.

I try to write at least 5-10 hours a week every week of the year. In the summer this may be 2 hours Monday - Friday and 8 on the weekend, but I get my time in and I get my manuscripts written, and edited.  In essence I do what I can do when I can.  You’d think this would satisfy me, but it doesn’t.  I spend much of the work week telling myself that when I get home tonight I’ll go down in the basement and spend a couple of hours writing.

Despite all of these challenges I’ve written close to 1,000,000 words during the past 3 years.  This includes three separate Thrillers.  The first two were what I call learning novels and to this day they are resting quietly somewhere in the basement on a disc or a hard drive.  The third is growing and getting closer and closer to the day I pitch it to agents and begin the path toward getting published.

To all of you fellow writers out there - What’s your story? How often do you write? Do you have any secrets for getting your words down on paper?


  1. I write whenever I can--sometimes not for days then I get a few days I can write all day. Been that way all my life since I started writing silly picture book tales at 5-6 years old -5 decades ago. . . its an inner drive I cannot ignore for long.

  2. I think it's silly to say putting words to paper is the only thing that counts. I got excited the other day when I edited 61 pages in a 380 page manuscript. Didn't get a single word written that day though. Was I productive? Hell yes.

    Personally, writing, actual writing is only a small percentage of my process. There's planning, brainstorming, research, writing, editing, reading, more editing, more reading, even more editing, deleting like mad, working on blurbs, promotion, blogging, networking... The list goes on. Actual writing is really a very small percentage of my time. Doesn't mean I'm not productive, though.

  3. Also, I feel like writing is an art. And art should never be forced. Telling yourself to sit in front of the keyboard and write, with nothing in your head to get down, is not just stupid, it's counter-productive. I would rather pace my living room brainstorming than sit in front of my laptop staring at a blank screen and trying desperately to get a few words down. I might get a few hundred words down. After a brainstorming session? I might have the ideas for a few thousand words.

  4. Marie, It seems like all of us writers have an inner drive to create and write stories. The hard part is finding quality time to sit down and get the words down on paper or into our computers.

  5. Danielle, I totally agree with you that writing is an art and should never be forced. Finding time to write as often as we can isn't about getting some word count done, its about continuing in the creative vain and keeping the ideas flowing. The more we write the more natural it becomes, and the easier it is to crank out drafts of our manuscripts and improve on what came before.