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How Often Do You Really Need to Write?

how often do you really need to writeI’m often asked by beginning writers, “How often do I need to write?” In many ways this is what I call a ‘how long is a piece of string question.’ That’s because the answer depends… It depends on you, your lifestyle, your motivation and more.

It’s also a natural question. After all, in the beginning of our writing career we really don’t have a clue. We know that regular jobs require eight hours a day or more. Do we, we wonder, have to spend that much time on our writing?

Write until you trust that you’ll write

I was reminded of this the last couple of weeks. I was sick, seriously I can barely get out of bed sick. Some sort of cold, flu, something that sapped my energy. The first five or six days I didn’t even think about this blog or any of my other writing. As I began to recover there came a moment when I realized I hadn’t written a thing in over a week! That’s highly unusual for me, but I trust my writing. I knew when I started feeling even semi-human I’d start to write again, and so it was.

So that’s one approach. Write daily or at least five or six days a week for at least a couple of hours. Repeat this until you know in your soul that if you’re interrupted you’ll get back to the writing when you can. I can’t tell you how valuable it is that I trust I’ll write even when I don’t; that I know that about myself.

Exactly how you do this I’m not sure. I just sort of wrote my way into it with writing assignments I found and with writing I wanted to publish. Today you can publish on your own blog or on Medium, etc. There’s plenty of opportunity if you work at it.

How often do you need to write each day?

Another form of the same question. I’ve found since the beginning, which for me was around 32, that if I wrote seriously for more than 4 hours each day I had nothing to give the next day. Now this was writing sitting alone at my desk at home.

When I’ve had inside writing jobs, the work day typically lasted a full 8 hours. When I edited a magazine or newspaper, the couple of days leading up to the deadline often lasted 10, even 12 hours. But the writing or the editing never seemed to go over four hours, or not by much. It seems my creativity can last up to four hours every day. If I go much beyond that I’m brain dead the next day.

I also discovered that I write best at first light, or pretty early in the morning. I can write later, but the later I start the more of a struggle it is. I found my sweet spot.

Experiment and expect change

Experiment and find how often you need to write to hit the productivity you’d like to hit. Try different times of day, different venues, and different ways of writing – computer, by hand, notebooks etc. Notice what works and do more of that.

Know too that whatever turns out to be your ideas amount of time today will, in the next six months or after the next move or job change, will change. Roll with it. One of the joys of freelance writing is the potential for real flexibility.

A close writing friend of mine rarely starts before 9 or 10 in the evening and sometimes does his best work around 2 a.m. That’s not a schedule that works for me, but it sure works for him. Figure out where and when you’re happiest writing and that’s probably you’re sweet spot. You can build a whole writing career around that if you’re clever.

Write well and often,

Anne Wayman, freelance writer

 

 

 

Photo by Joanjo Pavon on Unsplash



{ 18 comments… add one }
  • I really love reading articles such as this one. I agree that the best time to write is different for every writer. For me, I can say that I am most comfortable to write during the night because interruptions are unlikely to be encountered during the wee hours. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the topic. You can also find some inspiring information here https://selfpublishingmadeeasynow.com/how-long-should-your-self-published-book-be/.
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  • Thanks for sharing your knowledge. The Content in this article is very informative.

  • Flow of imagination through pen on the papers is exciting and refreshing.
    A writer should write most often. A big time interval between writings can cause problem in giving continuity to the great thoughts.
    So I totally agree with the post about how often one needs to write.
    Thanks for sharing the post.

  • Writing is really interesting. Flow of imagination through pen on the papers is exciting and refreshing.
    A writer should write most often. A big time interval between writings can cause problem in giving continuity to the great thoughts.
    So I totally agree with the post about how often one needs to write.
    Thanks for sharing the post.

  • Thanks for your post! Through your pen I found the problem up interesting! I believe there are many other people who are interested in them just like me! Thanks your shared!… I hope you will continue to have similar posts to share with everyone!
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  • Writing is really an art, the more you practice it the easier and more pleasurable it becomes. I have recently been exercising my potential to write articles on digital marketing on my blog and I was looking for inspirational content until I got to your blog. Congratulations and thank you

  • The most common question among writers is how often should they write and I guess this question was answered so well in this article. Thank you for sharing your ideas. Keep on writing and inspiring your readers.
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  • Thank a lot for shareing this awsome articles.i love to share on social media keep it up.
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  • Thank a lot for shareing this awsome articles.i love to share on social media keep it up.
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  • How true GaryP.

  • Glad it helped.

  • Recently i started an online blog in beauty niche…this article was worth ready for me to understand how frequently i need to write
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  • Thanks so much for this encouragement. Setting aside the time to be creative is so very important. It is so easy to find things that are more urgent.

  • You’re welcome.

  • Writing often soothes my soul, but not always.

  • thanks for putting this down on your blog. I find that the ritual of getting up every morning and putting in my 1 to 1.5 k words is very meaningful.
    sometimes I right to simply express myself and work through my thoughts.

    Other times I’m working on an affiliate article or something for a guest post. Either way there’s something about riding that soothes the soul.
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  • Writing content depends upon your skills and trust in what are you writing. The points you mentioned in your content are quite helpful for writers who are new in the industry.
    Thanks for sharing it.

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