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Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Why It's Good To Write Less And Rest More

If you're anything like me normal life is just one challenge after another. Whenever you need a rest to prevent your head from exploding, there's just one more crisis to be solved. Sometimes it can feel like your running on the spot but making no further progress.

Sometimes life can ruin your creative spirit.

I started a new job several weeks ago and I was determined my writing wouldn't suffer. And so far it hasn't. I still write but unlike before I don't write everyday.

But yet here is the funny part, and it's the pivotal part of my post. Even though I don't write everyday, my total word count for the week remains about the same. I spend less time writing but my productivity remains constant.

At first this took a while for me to get my head around. In a world where everyone claims to be too busy to write, I always thought you had to devote the amount of time as you would to a full time job to write books. But I am gradually learning you don't.

So where is the logic to this? How can I spend less time writing but still produce the same amount of words?

Well obviously before I was spending too much time writing and I was tired without realising it. I constantly had to push myself harder and harder to do the same amount of work. Basically I was writing more or less everyday. I didn't allow myself to recharge my batteries. I could manage this at the start but after a while my creativity obviously sapped and I had to work harder to achieve less.

I was running on the spot but made no further progress.

So the key to successful writing isn't how much time you devote to the art, it's the amount of writing you produce at the end.


  1. Could not agree more - I write a personal blog a business blog and am currently working on a book. it is like even when you are not 'physically' writing, somewhere in your subconscious it is still tapping away at the keys - so when you finally get a moment to actually write it just flows out. Love it! P~

  2. Hi Peter,

    Thanks for your kind words. If only your subconscious had a pair of hands to actually type, haha!

  3. I love writing and spend a lot of time writing and I have to have several naps to recharge my mind. Thank you for your insightful views.

  4. While I'm retired I totally understand where you are coming from. On days when I've got nothing realy else to do but write, I allow myself to drift away to think of other matters in my life, matters which are not actually important. However, on those days when I've got tons of things to do, my time becomes more valuable as I now have to compress the time I take to do them. This compression of time also comes into play each day when I sit down to write. The reason you're probably maintaining a certain amount of progress in your writing endeavor [endeavour for you British folks] is precisely this, you're merely maintain your goal of a certain amount of words. As I begin writing my second novel, I'm writing it already formatted for a 6x9 trim, with single spacing just like the way I want each page to finally appear, and a goal of two whole pages each day. Compressing your allotted time for each day forces you to concentrate on the writing which lies in front of you and nothing else.

    Robin Leigh Morgan
    Soon to be released
    YA Paranormal/Time Travel/First Kiss romance
    "I Kissed a Ghost"

  5. Chrztalia, thank you for your kind comment. Have a productive weekend writing!

    Robin, thanks for your thoughtful comment. It's amazing how many writers' feel the same as we do. Good luck with your second novel.

  6. Followered your blog through from Linkedin.
    enjoyed reading your article. I guess most writers feel the same as you, it's not about the amount of time you spend writing, it's more using time wisely or planning your time.
    Wish you well

  7. Thanks for commenting - glad you enjoyed the read. Happy Holidays!