With the invention of the internet and new publishing services, it is easier than ever to become an author. However, many new writers have difficulty picturing how much they should be writing to become a successful writer. So, how many hours a day do writers write?
Full-time writers tend to write for at least 3 or 4 hours a day and then spend more time editing and working on the business side. Writers who also have other jobs often struggle to find time and may only write for an hour or two a day. Ideally, new writers should spend at least an hour most days.
How Many Hours a Day Should I Write?
If you are an aspiring author, you should set a schedule that works best for you based on available time, but to make progress in improving your skills and storytelling, you should try to write at least an hour a day, 5 days a week.
It will be hard to maintain good progress unless you improve your skills and build on them each day.
A regular schedule will help you build good writing habits and give you time to find the perfect balance between work on your book, family commitments, and your job.
Learning to write more efficiently is critical, but new writers can also spend most of their writing hours editing their work if they are not careful. So make sure to set most of your time for writing and keep editing as a separate task with its own time set aside.
Don’t forget to still include some free time to read as well. It is recommended that you still read regularly as it can help inspire an author and improve your writing skills by seeing good writing done by others.
Days off are also crucial for writers to rest or take care of other responsibilities. An author must have a life outside of writing to not become burnt out, so make sure to include plenty of non-writing time and activities.
Hence the 5-day recommendation. Take at least 1 day a week, 2 days would be better, to do anything other than writing. It will actually help you improve faster and stay committed than trying to run a 7-day schedule.
Some Helpful Tips and Facts:
- The average writer writes for about 3 hours each day
- Some writers will write for 8 or more hours a day, but this is not recommended as it risks burnout. Be very careful and know your own limit
- Take breaks during writing sessions to avoid fatigue and overwork. This can minimize the risk of health problems
- You will produce better work if you write regularly, so set a schedule for yourself
- Reading as well as writing can improve your skills substantially
- It is recommended that new writers take classes to improve their skills and build on them. You will find a lot of great advice to improve faster
- Join a writing group! Writing groups can help aspiring authors develop their skills, critique each other’s work and network with fellow writers who are likely to cover a range of experience from newbie to successful published author
- It’s important that you find the time of day when you are most productive and plan your schedule accordingly. Some people are morning people, for example, while others are night owls. Pick a time of day that works best with your energy level.
- Treat your writing like a job and plan time each day to write
- It’s essential to plan your writing time instead of just sitting down and staring at the keyboard. Always having an aim can help keep you progressing
What to do if you are finding it hard to write?
Let’s explore some strategies:
- Try a different time of day
If you find it hard to write when you schedule your writing time, try scheduling another time in the day, such as the afternoon.
- Try a different place
Maybe you cannot write at home and would prefer to write in a coffee shop or library, so try that. A change of place can sometimes help.
- Write for shorter times on each day
Instead of scheduling one 4 hour block of writing time, schedule 3 breaks throughout the day where you spend an hour writing and then break for 15 minutes.
- Take advantage of short bursts of inspiration
Sometimes when you are working on a project, you may only get the “juices” flowing for a few minutes at a time, so schedule your writing time as short periods interspersed with other activities such as walking your dogs.
- Distract yourself away from writer’s block
If you have difficulty writing and all the tips above have not helped, try turning to another activity such as reading or exercise.
Do something else for at least half an hour until your motivation returns.
- Have a competition or challenge with yourself
Sometimes just adding some pressure to your writing sessions can be enough to get the words flowing, even if you don’t believe in the story you are trying to write. This could include any time-based challenges, such as saying that you will spend 10 minutes writing about the first person you think of or the next person on TV.
- Get help!
If you feel like giving up or that there is nothing else you can do, then talking to someone about it may be the key to getting past this hump and into the flow. Talking to friends or family could give you some new ideas or reach out to a writers group member. They have likely had the same issue and can usually help.
The bad news is that there is no fixed amount of time I can tell you that you should write to become a writer. The good news is that with just a few of the tips above, you will be able to quickly and easily figure out what works best for you.
Did you figure out a schedule that works for you? Then, let us know what works for you in the comments below!