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What are the best writing routines? How many hours a day does a writer write?

I'm often asked about my writing routine. Do I have one? If so what is my writing routine? How many hours a day do I spend writing? What is the most successful writing routine? There is no hard and fast answer. All writers differ. Some find it easy to write early morning some late in the day. It also depends on whether or not you have a job and need to fit your writing around it or around home care.

The main point though is that nothing gets written unless you sit down to WRITE!

Rather obvious you might think but nearly all writers suffer from procrastination and, as the old saying goes, ' Procrastination is the thief of time.' Now more than ever there is the temptation to just take a peek at what is happening on social media, and although that is an important marketing tool for authors it can also consume so much time that the novel never gets written.

There are writers who cannot write unless they have a drink in front of them - tea, coffee, alcohol ... others who must sharpen all their pencils before they can settle down to write. Rituals are fine just as long as they don't stop you actually WRITING!

It's about making time to write, not finding time to write.

It might also take a while for you to find which routine suits you best and which writing method. By all means set writing goals but ensure they are realistic and achievable otherwise you will be disappointed when you don't meet them. When I was running my marketing and PR business I could only write at weekends, so Saturday and Sunday afternoons became my writing days and therefore my routine. That didn't stop me jotting down ideas during the week if and as they came to me.

I have been writing full time since 2006 so have had years now in which to perfect my routine and I have learned not to cast this in stone. It is flexible depending on family, speaking and other commitments but one rule I do have and that is to write every day even if on some days this is a very limited amount, or is simply jotting down ideas or mapping out aspects of the plot, or conducting research.

Unless I am away from home on a speaking engagement (which in Covid-19 times I am not!) I write every day, usually for about three hours but this varies depending on the stage of the novel and whether I need to break off to conduct some research or spend some time thinking and plotting.

Sometimes if the flow is going, or I am nearing the end of the novel, I can spend up to eight hours writing. Sitting at the computer for that length of time is not good for the back so yes I do take a break, but sometimes if it wasn't for my husband feeding me I'd forget to eat!

Crime author on locationOften I am out walking the coastal paths, looking for a good place to put a body - a fictional one I hasten to add. But it is locations that inspire me so I am always out seeking ideas for new plots.

I usually write every evening between 5pm until 7.30pm, and I write Saturday and Sunday mornings and often also in the afternoons of a weekend.

When I am working on first drafts I like to crack on and get these written, setting a goal to write these within two months, three at the most. Once I have the first draft written, albeit in its crudest sense, and I have roughly 80,000 plus words on my computer, I can then take a breath, slow down and take time to re-shape and refine the novel.

Some authors commit themselves to writing so many words a day. I don't.  It also depends on your commitments. Every author is different and it will take a while to find what works for you but the key to doing so is, yes you've guessed it, WRITE .

Dead Passage a DI Andy Horton crime novel by Pauline RowsonDEAD PASSAGE is number 14 in the DI Andy Horton series of 15. It is available in paperback, as an ebook and on Amazon Kindle.

A mysterious telephone call sends Horton on a complex and twisted investigation into the death of a local politician twelve years ago and uncovers a trail of lies, secrets and revenge with roots deep in the past.

"A detective novel in the tradition of Rankin and Harvey." Mystery People Magazine

The DI Andy Horton novels in order

Tide of Death (1)
Deadly Waters (2)
The Suffocating Sea (3)
Dead Man's Wharf (4)
Blood on the Sand (5)
Footsteps on the Shore (6)
A Killing Coast (7)
Death Lies Beneath (8)
Undercurrent (9)
Death Surge (10)
Shroud of Evil (11)
Fatal Catch (12)
Lethal Waves (13)
Dead Passage (14)
A Deadly Wake (15)

If you enjoy the Inspector Andy Horton crime novels you might like the crime novels featuring former Royal Marine Commando Art Marvik, now working as an undercover investigator for the UK's National Intelligence Marine Squad.

Art Marvik mystery thrillers

Silent Running (1)
Dangerous Cargo (2)
Lost Voyage (3)
Dead Sea (4)

Inspector Ryga 1950s set Mysteries

Death in the Cove (1)
Death in the Harbour (2)

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JANUARY 18TH, 2021 @ 6:19:58 GMT

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