Thursday, July 24, 2014

Writing Time

Too Little Time?

By gnuckx [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Sunset, Italy 
How much time do you spend writing per day? I know many of us are not able to settle down for five days a week as professional writers. We juggle home/family commitments, other jobs.

But take a second or two once in a while to review your precious writing time and consider how much of it is truly spent in the white heat of creation.

I spend far too long writing articles. I excuse this by saying I need thinking  time.

But if I'm honest, that should be happening while I make the beds or wash the dishes. How long does it take to jot down a few bullet points or dictate a memo when you have an idea on the move?

With an outline and a few headings, the article or blog post is as good as written.

Or Too Much?

Too much time can be as much of a drawback as too little. Many authors think that having more time to write will mean they write twice as much.

In fact, this is rarely the case. The secret is not time but focus. And my focus is demonstrably sharper when deadlines loom and time is of the essence.

Set a timer, how much can you write in ten minutes? Work with happy music and a driving beat--how fast do you write?
Do you write at your fastest every day?

And if you do, please tell me how you do it.

For an in-depth look at the importance of focus, see this article by Karen Cioffi-Ventrice on productivity strategies.


 Anne Duguid is a freelance content editor with MuseItUp Publishing and she passes on helpful writing,editing and publishing tips from time to time at Slow and Steady Writers 


13 comments:

  1. Ahh, I love balance. And your article is simply that!

    I also fall into the first category of "too little time" and yes, I tell myself I'm thinking.

    I am focused with a deadline as well. It forces me to sit. When I write, it satisfies my creative impulses but am I regularly getting assignments or making money? Not without the focus to meet my goal(s).



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    1. I do wonder, Kathleen, whether we sometimes resent having to write for money and that's what stops the creativity flow until it's vital to get the work done. What do you think?

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  2. Annie, I'm in the same category. I can focus well when I'm under pressure. I also do A LOT of article writing. What I find I spend a lot of time on is marketing research, then turning that into content. Once I have my current project under control, I do want to get back to do a sequel to my middle-grade book.

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    1. You are so amazingly productive, Karen, and funnily enough, I was wondering if there might one day be another award-winning book. You also have your teaching courses which must take a lot of preparation.

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    2. Annie, I'm hoping to write a sequel to the CLC award book, Walking Through Walls. I also have 3 PBs in contract, but they're a long time coming to publication. And, I promised a family member, well actually my ex, to write a children's book about his service dog who recently passed away.

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    3. So glad there may be sequel to Walking Through Walls, Karen--super book and well deserved its awards. Publication dates always seem to take longer to arrive when we're looking forward to them. And I'll look forward to hearing news of your children's book too. Lovely idea.

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    4. Annie, thanks so much! You put a smile on my face.

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  3. Definitely too little for me at the moment, Annie. Will have to review this.

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    1. It's so difficult to claw back our writing time when it gets lost for one reason or another, isn't it? Fingers crossed you'll be producing another novel soon.

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  4. I could use more time, but also use deadlines to help with my focus. Having to submit something to my critique group every two weeks keeps me focused.

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    1. Another good reason to find a critique group, Mary Jo lol.

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  5. Thanks Annie. So true. I use up so much of my best writing time on unimportant tasks and then moan I don't have enough time! Thanks for the challenge.

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    1. Hi Shirley, snap to that. I made a list of all the important must-do writing this morning and still didn't get started on it till the afternoon. So here I am at well past bedtime struggling to finish. :-)

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