I’ve seen a lot of talk lately about how much writers should write. People have been giving advice on how much you should write in a day/week/month/year in order to be successful and to improve your craft. I thought I’d throw my two cents in, too.
Of course the only steadfast rule of writing is if you want to be a writer, you have to write. How much and how long aren’t important but you do need to produce things. Many writers set goals for themselves. Some like to write a little bit at a time over a long period and some like to write huge chunks over a short period and take more days off. No way is right or wrong. You should pick what feels right for you and try to more or less stick to it–especially if you’re new to writing, you don’t want to overwhelm yourself. Nothing makes you give up faster than setting the bar way too high and collapsing in a heap when you try to jump for it.
I’ve been writing for a long time and my ability to write has gotten stronger over that time. Nowadays I sort of work around my day job: I try to get in a thousand words on days I work and two-thousand on my off days. Of course this only applies if I’m actually writing something new. Editing and rewriting are different beasts and I may do them at a time when I’m not writing anything or do them alongside my writing. Do I always make my goal? No. Somedays I’m lazy and don’t even try.
The thing is I write very fast, so those 1,000 and 2,000 word dashes of writing don’t take me very long at all. I spend more time not writing than writing. But when I started out, there was no way I could write that much in a single session. It was an ability that came to me with time and practice. I’ve also experienced long, barren stretches where I couldn’t get any words out, and times I ‘ve written double or triple my words in a feverish creative frenzy. The muse is fickle.
Don’t beat yourself up about how much you do or don’t write. Write what you can, when you can, and rest assured when you at least show up at the page and try, you’re working on getting better. The only bad thing is never writing at all.
On a personal note, The Wicked City only needs a few more nominations to make it to the actual voting round of The Romance Reviews Readers’ Choice awards! Signing up to nominate is super easy–you can even sign in with Facebook or various other social media accounts here. If you do nominate me, let me know so I can thank you personally!