I write every day, and I give myself wordcount goals. (Usually, it’s 2k min, or a certain page goal if revising). It varies though. 10 pages is often my goal. I usually hit it, and sometimes do much more. I write faster at the end of a book than the beginning. Also, some days I write for four or five hours–some days I write fourteen or sixteen. Pretty consistently, I’ve done around 300k words a year for the last few years. Last year I pushed very hard and got around 400k.
I try to keep distractions to a minimum. I write at night, so there’s less noise. I also set aside one day a week for business matters: answering emails, signing things for my store, phone calls with my agent, etc. I’m lucky enough to have assistants I can trust. I don’t have to get distracted by day to day interruptions because I know my assistants will deal with most of it, and only ask me about things that really need my input, and most of them can wait until my business day.
Do you ever take a break? It seems like you’re always doing something.
I went out to dinner with my wife for our anniversary last night. Does that count? The truth is, I love what I do. So if I have time when I’m not doing something else, I work on books.
What is your writing schedule like, and do you ever give yourself a day off?
Do I ever give myself a day off? Usually, if I give myself a day off, it’s because I’ve just been killing myself. Going and doing book signings and things like that.
I write to relax. That’s what I do for fun. If I go on vacation I usually want to go on vacation to get away from everyone so I can write. It’s just what I love to do. My writing schedule is usually … most writers write twenty-four hours a day, I write twenty-four hours a day. I go to the gym, I’m thinking about what’s happening with my next book. If I’m going to bed, I’m planning for the next day. When I get up, I check my e-mail, start writing.
Most days, usually, formally, I write from about noon until four, and then I’ll hang out with my family and do other stuff until about ten, and I’ll start writing from about ten until midnight. No from about ten until 4AM.
What was your average daily wordcount when working as a part time writer?
I was a special case, as I intentionally picked a job where I could write at work. I shot for 2000 words a day. I suggest to new writers that 2k a week be a minimum. That gives you a book in about a year.