Wednesday, September 24, 2008

How Long Do You Write For?

In theory, writing every day is the best possible way to consistently improve and produce pages. I disagreed with this until I actually began doing it, and with the exception of a few weeks off in between projects, I now try to write for at least one hour every day. (I believe it was Stephen King who says that most writers only have one good hour in them a day.)

I spent the weekend in Boston visiting a friend and knew that I was going to be less than productive. So, I took yesterday off from work and dedicated the whole day to re-writes. I wrote solidly for more than my usual hour before taking a break. When I returned to my computer, I figure I probably put in another good hour and a half before that dastardly writing villain The Internet (a subject of much debate here recently) landed a debilitating blow. After some down time that involved dinner and the premier of How I Met Your Mother, it was back to the computer.

I was weaker than I thought from The Internet's earlier assault, and after about 20 minutes, I lost Round 3 for good. I couldn't help but feel as though I'd come up short - not everything I wanted to accomplish had been done. Yet, I had to remind myself that I'd written for nearly 3 and a half hours all told by the end of the night. Not too shabby.

So, I got to thinking. I usually write for an hour a day. Some people write from sun-up to sun-down. Some people have a page goal. How long do you write for each day?


Onyx said...

Back before I went into creative hibernation I was doing about two hours, 5-7pm, Monday-Friday. I would just stay at the office. Because I'd been mostly working throughout the day, I still had a get the job done mentality with me, and for the most part I was able to hit the ground running. Little to no writing on weekends. I'd sure like to get back to those days. But for now I'll just bite down on my shirt collar and let my job have its way with me.

king suckerman said...

One of the first things I realized when I started a serious draft of SILENT CITY was that I needed to write more. For a few months, I've written for 3-4 hours a week, usually in one or two bursts over the weekend. But that's not going to cut it. ONYX -- your after work idea is excellent, and I may take a stab at it in the coming weeks. The trick with writing a novel is getting your pages done and then going back and tweaking, so I need to really up the page count.