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What Is Your Writing Schedule?

I have no routine. When I do write, it’s usually late at night because all is quiet. I don’t set a daily goal — the words come hard for me, so I’m grateful for whatever words I manage to get on paper.

It’s amazing to me that with as sporadically and as slowly as I write, I’ve still managed to complete four novels and a non-fiction book.

Isaac Asimov

I guess it just goes to show what one can do by plugging away. Oddly, considering this is the electronic age, I still prefer to write longhand, though I am gradually doing more writing on the computer.

Here are some examples of other author’s writing schedules. The comments are taken from interviews posted at Pat Bertram Introduces . . .

From an interview with Dale Cozort, Author of “Exchange
I usually concentrate on one aspect of writing at a time. If I’m writing I schedule myself to write a thousand to three thousand words per day, depending on what other obligations I have. If I’m editing or marketing that’s usually all I do that day.

A group of people from a workshop I went to last July pledged to write at least two hundred and fifty words per day every day for thirty days. We kept renewing that through the end of December and most of us ended up averaging five hundred to a thousand words per day. The two-hundred and fifty words is a small enough amount that you can do it in twenty minutes to a half hour, so pledging to do that is a good way to avoid procrastination. At the same time, the mindset for editing and marketing are enough different from writing mode that I found myself having to work at making the transition.

From an interview with Polly Iyer, Author of “Hooked”
I write all the time. I try for a certain amount of words when I’m writing a new story, but much of writing is rewriting. That’s when I go hoarse reading aloud to see if the dialogue works or if sentences sound strained.

From an interview with T. C. Isbell, Author of “Southern Cross”
Even though I’m retired, I approach writing like a job. I believe that following an established schedule is the key to finishing a project. I start writing at seven in the morning, right after my wife leaves for work, and work pretty much through the day. I take short breaks, but other than that I’m either researching or writing. I try to add at least one thousand words a day to my manuscript. Some days the juices flow and I put down two thousand words. There are days where I write the same sentence over and over. I stop writing before my wife comes home from work.

From an interview with Malcolm R. Campbell, Author of “Sarabande”
I do everything possible to avoid having a writing schedule, much less a daily word-count goal. The story unfolds as it unfolds. I don’t know what’s going to happen next, much less when my characters or my muse or the universe are going to fill me in on the next scene or chapter. Sitting down to write at a specific time or forcing out a set number or words each day would ruin the flow. This sounds like a lazier approach than it is. Whenever I have a novel in progress, I am rather obsessed with it. It is always on my mind. Basically, I’m much better off when I’m actually writing it than when I’m not writing it.

So, what’s your writing schedule like? Do you strive for a certain amount of words each day?

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