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View Full Version : How many hours would you spend on writing each day if you had a choice?



MsK
08-25-2008, 11:48 PM
Most of us have jobs, families and other responsibilities that take up much our time. But, here's a hypothetical question:

If you had much of the entire day, every day, to work on your writing- How much time would you put into it? How would you organize that time?


Would you treat it like a regular 8 hour job and put in a solid 8 hours, only taking a short break for lunch?
Would you work in bits and pieces, putting in 1 hour here, 2 hours there- but still have the daily total adding up to 8 hours or more?

Or, would you put in way less, or way more, than an 8 hour day?

JeanneTGC
08-25-2008, 11:54 PM
I'd write most of the hours of the day if I could. I like to take breaks and all, but if I could get away with it, I'd write a good 18 out of the possible 24. :D (And...there are days I DO get away with it.)

Clair Dickson
08-25-2008, 11:57 PM
As much as I could. And, muse willing, it would be a lot. Probably a good ten to twelve hours would be nice, but never in one stretch. I can't sit on my tailfeathers for that long at a time. I have to get up, move, or putter. Sometimes I even have the urge to get out of the house.

I did this over Christmas Break last year-- two weeks without having anything to do but write. It was wonderful. I got some thirty thousand words written that two weeks. And loved it. I'm hoping for an encore this year! (I'm a teacher. =)

Fillanzea
08-25-2008, 11:57 PM
My brain burns out if I try to do more than about 3, 3.5 hours a day of new material. I could put it up to 4.5 for revisions and writing-business stuff.

Shadow_Ferret
08-25-2008, 11:59 PM
If writing fiction was my actual job I think I'd look for ways to get out of actually doing it, just like I do now for my real job. :)

DeleyanLee
08-26-2008, 12:00 AM
It would vary, day to day, but would probably equal about 30 hours in a 7 day time span.

Sitting and just writing for hour after hour isn't something that's natural for me and when I've forced myself to it, all I've gotten is drivel. Sitting down and working on it as I desire yields about the same number of pages--but ones I can keep--and allows me to take care of other things without guilt.

Dale Emery
08-26-2008, 12:26 AM
I do have a choice, so apparently my answer is: near zero.

MsK
08-26-2008, 12:32 AM
I do have a choice, so apparently my answer is: near zero.

:ROFL:

Willowmound
08-26-2008, 12:37 AM
6

C.bronco
08-26-2008, 12:40 AM
Three to five. Then I get stiff from sitting.
:)

Mr Flibble
08-26-2008, 12:42 AM
about 8 hours

I did this once five days a week for three months straight. At the end I lay on the sofa and quivered while my brain melted out of my ears.

So maybe not allll the time :)

Mad Queen
08-26-2008, 12:53 AM
I confess I enjoy daydreaming about my story more than I enjoy writing it. :(

Blondchen
08-26-2008, 12:59 AM
Writing? 2-3 hours.

Thinking about what I am going to write? 2-3 hours.

Bubastes
08-26-2008, 12:59 AM
My ideal day: 3 hours writing new material in the morning, a 2 hour lunch to take care of business-y stuff, 4 hours revising a different WIP in the afternoon. That still leaves me plenty of time in the day for 2-3 hours of music practice, meeting friends, and just enjoying life.

Ah, I love dreaming!

Writer2011
08-26-2008, 01:05 AM
As much as I can possibly get done in one day :)

Claudia Gray
08-26-2008, 01:12 AM
Most days, I'd probably write between 4 and 5 hours, with another hour or two of research, etc. Some days I'm sure I'd write a lot more, some days a lot less, but I think that would be close to "normal" for me.

rugcat
08-26-2008, 02:05 AM
I've had deadlines. I've noticed that when I write more than about four hours, the quality starts to decline.

Robin Bayne
08-26-2008, 03:05 AM
My brain burns out if I try to do more than about 3, 3.5 hours a day of new material. I could put it up to 4.5 for revisions and writing-business stuff.


Same here. I once had 6 months off between day jobs, and I didn't get any more written than I do when I work full time.

otterman
08-26-2008, 03:14 AM
3 hours of writing (preferably in the morning), 2 hours of revising/editing (in the evening). That's my summer holiday schedule and after a number of years I've found it works best for me. I only wish the holiday never ended! Hold on, I haven't checked my lottery tickets...

Ol' 61
08-26-2008, 03:18 AM
I'd like to fool myself into thinking that, if I could just write and not have to have a day job, I would write 8 hours a day.

The reality is I'd probably only write abour 3 hours a day. Unless I'm on a roll. Then the story is like last night's really bad dinner--it has to come out, one way or the other.

ChaosTitan
08-26-2008, 03:35 AM
I don't know if I'd want to break the day down into a schedule. I tend to write for a while, go do something, write for a while, wash the dishes, write for a while, do laundry, write for a while, go grocery shopping. I can't sit down for four hours and just write, I need to take little breaks.

So I'd just continue to write like I do now: as often as I can manage, squeezed in whenever possible.

ChaosTitan
08-26-2008, 03:41 AM
I don't know if I'd want to break the day down into a schedule. I tend to write for a while, go do something, write for a while, wash the dishes, write for a while, do laundry, write for a while, go grocery shopping. I can't sit down for four hours and just write, I need to take little breaks.

So I'd just continue to write like I do now: as often as I can manage, squeezed in whenever possible.

roncouch
08-26-2008, 04:02 AM
[quote=KrystalR;2686420]Most of us have jobs, families and other responsibilities that take up much our time. But, here's a hypothetical question:

If you had much of the entire day, every day, to work on your writing- How much time would you put into it? How would you organize that time?

I retired at age 52, and have a generous amount of free time. I've chosen to spend one to two hours per evening writing on my laptop - in bed, between eight and ten pm. Sometimes - when I become super involved in the story, I forget time and may type three or four hours. If I was trying to earn a living by writing, I would write a few hours early in the morning, and a few in the early afternoon. I allocate approximately ten percent of my time editing i.e. editing material written the previous day, etc. If I miss a day, I do not change my routine.

Matera the Mad
08-26-2008, 04:28 AM
As many as I felt like on any particular day.

Grrarrgh
08-26-2008, 04:41 AM
I think it would probably be much like it is now. With a full time job, sometimes I write at work during lunch, sneaking some in during the actual work day as well, then come home and write all evening. Other times I might write 2 or 3 sentences all day.
If I had all day to just write, there would probably be days I would write for 8, 9, 10 hours. Other days, I'd probably open the document, look at it, feel no inspiration and close it again without writing a single word. And plenty of variations and combinations of the two.

scheherazade
08-26-2008, 05:28 AM
I think it's pretty difficult to write eight or more hours a day on a regular basis. If you're in the middle of a juicy part of your novel, or you're doing NaNoWriMo (http://www.nanowrimo.org), or you're a binge writer who does one Saturday a week, then maybe you can write for long stretches.

I think writers who treat writing like a 9-to-5 job still don't actually write for 8 hours straight. They might write half the day, then spend the other half editing, researching, or doing other business (marketing, corresponding, writing queries, etc). Stephen King, for example, outlined his typical day "in the office" in his book On Writing: "Mornings belong to whatever is new - the current composition. Afternoons are for naps and letters. Evenings are for reading, family, Red Sox games on TV, and any revisions that just cannot wait," or seven 2,000-word days a week, writing for about 3-6 hours a day. And this from a fairly prolific writer.

I've heard other writers say "you can't write eight hours a day." I think that's probably true if it's a long-term thing. You'd get burned out from the writing, not to mention carpal tunnel syndrome! Plus, how could you generate ideas if you spent all your time writing them or trying to rest from them? Writing is just as much about percolating the ideas as it is about sipping them.

I'd say probably 3-4 hours a day would be ideal for me, with room for 3-4 more hours of inspiration-seeking, story consumption, or writing business.

Moonfish
08-26-2008, 01:43 PM
I actually have all day to write, except for what is known as "life", i.e. cooking, eating, shwoers, laundry, dog walks etc. But I cannot write for more than about two hours. I stick to the 2k of Stephen King and some days that takes me 90minutes, some days 120. If I write more or faster I don't have time to ruminate and the writing becomes shite.

bonobo_jones
08-26-2008, 02:10 PM
24. With lots and lots of breaks. :) Walk the dogs, eat, sleep, check email, browse AW...

I'm too ADD to spend more than an hour writing without taking some sort of a break. But I was able to do nano last year, and got to my 50K by day 27. When I don't have to go out to take care of my business, I probably put in a good 8-10 hours writing over a 16 hour period.

Sunshine13
08-26-2008, 05:36 PM
If I had a choice, 8 hours, just like a typical job. But since my current job is being a mother/teacher, aint working for me. However, she starts 2 day a week preschool for 4 hours those two days. I'll take what I can get. :D

Red-Green
08-26-2008, 06:25 PM
Typically, when I have one of my writing vacations I spend about 6-7 hours a day writing.

tehuti88
08-26-2008, 07:21 PM
If you had much of the entire day, every day, to work on your writing- How much time would you put into it? How would you organize that time?

Would you treat it like a regular 8 hour job and put in a solid 8 hours, only taking a short break for lunch?
Would you work in bits and pieces, putting in 1 hour here, 2 hours there- but still have the daily total adding up to 8 hours or more?

Or, would you put in way less, or way more, than an 8 hour day?

I would write the same amount of time that I currently write, because it's what works for me, no more, no less. I go by word count/file size (about 1500-2000 words) rather than time so it varies but seems to be around 1-2 hours.

If I tried spending more time, I'd wear myself out and run out of things to say far too soon. I'd get sick of it. I know because I used to write until I got tired of it, and it resulted in me writing occasionally, with big gaps of time spent not writing. If I limit myself then I can write more regularly by leaving myself a place to pick up from.

Then again, I have no job, family, social life, or other responsibilities really to take away time that I could spend writing, so it's easy for me to say this.

I honestly cannot see how somebody could write for eight hours a day, even with breaks. As much as I adore writing, that would kill me. It'd be nice to be able to do that, though, to fill in the lonely time every day. I tend to spend that time crying rather than doing anything constructive. ;_;

maggieuc
08-26-2008, 07:29 PM
8 hours a day.

Phaeal
08-26-2008, 09:38 PM
Three-four hours early in the morning at home. Nice long lunch and exercise and errands break. Then another three-four hours at one of my favorite coffee shops. During the 3-4 hours stretches, I'd get up at least once and do some stretching and walking.

Phot's Moll
08-26-2008, 11:45 PM
Writing? 2-3 hours.

Thinking about what I am going to write? 2-3 hours.
Me too - so exactly the same as I do now!

If I could give up my regular job and just write, I don't think I'd actually get much more done.