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Journal The Merry Writer Writing

How Many Hours A Day Do You Typically Spend Writing?

How many hours a day do you typically spend writing? For me, it’s around four to six. That’s only time spent generating word count for works-in-progress. Therefore I don’t count blog posts, emails, editing, or any other keyboard pounding.

How Many Hours A Day

I spend four hours a day writing whatever the current “day job” work-in-progress is. That’s non-negotiable, because that’s what I do for a living. In the evening I try to spend an hour or two working on the novel. While that seems like a lot, well, welcome to being a full-time writer.

There was a time when I’d write all day. The law of diminishing returns applies. Between getting tired and not having time to process, the work wasn’t very good. I may be a hack, but I still need to balance quality with quantity. I could write for 16 hours a day if I was content to churn out indecipherable gibberish and word salad.

There’s a self-care aspect to that, too. I don’t think a lot of non-creatives consider this. For that matter, I don’t think a lot of creatives do either. If you’re not happy with the work you’re doing, you’re not going to be happy. Period. Full stop. There’s a notion that since writing is your core work, you need to be doing that for 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week. That’s not how it works. This is not the corporate world. There other things that have to be done. Plus, that’s not how creativity functions.


The Merry Writer is a writer’s game on Twitter run by Ari Meghlen (@arimeghlen) and Rachel Poli (@RPoli3). Each day there’s a new question, and each month there’s a new theme. In these posts I expand upon the answers that I’ve posted on my Twitter.

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