Monday, July 20, 2009

How Much Time Do You Actually Spend Writing?

In many of the blogs that I follow and conversations that I've had with other writers, the topics of time management and marketing often come up. Obviously, even part-time freelancers need to put in a fair amount of time marketing ourselves and trying to get more work. With so many demands on our time that are equally important parts of the process--researching, emails to editors and sources, following up on queries, researching/developing/sending out new queries, etc. etc.--the question becomes: How much of your "writing time" is actually spent on the writing itself?

This wasn't a topic that I've spent a lot of time thinking about, but last week it occurred to me that I've been doing an awful lot of supplemental writing activities--mostly the things I just listed above--but besides my columns, I haven't been sitting down to wrestle with words and concepts for articles in a long time. That's when it dawned on me that all of those blogs that I read and writers that I talk to are right...there's a lot more to writing than writing. Once I start getting back into the regular flow of working on articles and hearing from more editors, I'm going to do a little experiment. I'm going to start keeping a log of how I spend my time on writing and related activities. Just for fun, why not try it? I bet we'll be amazed at the results!


  1. I tried to sign on from my blogger account but it did not go through.

    I find myself not spending as much time as I should writing. I read a lot of blogs and make comments but I have yet to start writing on the book I want to publish one day. I feel I must start this soon or else I won't ever do it.

  2. It is a great idea to track your time. I suggest this to all my clients and the groups I talk to. Once you track your time you Really know where your time goes. This makes it is much easier to change where you spend your time. Here are a couple of questions for you.
    How much time each week would you like to spend writing?
    How much time each week do you need to spend in running your "writing business"?
    Here is a simple way to track your time.

  3. Ana--I've found that you really just need to make the time and commit to your writing projects. I have things that I've been putting off so I could spend more time on paying projects. Once you make the commitment and getting in the habit of writing, it becomes part of your regular routine.

    Mr. Time--Thanks for posting. You've given me a lot of good things to think about.