Writing on my novel as well as writing for profit keeping things in balance

@suspenseful (40316)
Canada
January 21, 2011 8:59am CST
I was going to put this discussion on novel writers, but decided to do here first. First as you can surmise I am writing here, and there is a little cash reward here,, but mostly this is because of fun and my loving to write. Of course I also make money on ptc sites but am planning to leave most of them. Now hereby comes the dilemma. I am gradually increasing my novel writing time, and yet I made this New Years REsolution to do at least five respondants, comments, or posts here at mylot daily since usually I am too busy to do so or am so tired since there is the housework, plus my singing and piano playing. Yesterday I had my timer set for over an hour and I got tired, so was wondering whether that was a bit too long. Yet I hear about writers sitting at their computers or typewriters for three hours at a time. So how much time do you spend on your novel a day and what is the maximum time before your eyes give up?
3 people like this
13 responses
@ElicBxn (60874)
• United States
22 Jan 11
well, I haven't ever tried to write a novel, but when I was writing fiction, I wrote as much as I was inspired to write. However, I have heard that "real" writers treat it as a job, and will put 4-8 hours in on writing, even if they throw it all out... so I guess I'll never be a "real" writer.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
1 Feb 11
It depends on whether they have someone else to do the work while they sit at the computer. And also if they just write articles and get paid all the time. With me it is the sitting down at the computer that I do not like that much, since I gain weight on my tummy and my rear end. And I cannot see me carrying around the laptop even if could invent a laptop holder that straps over my shoulders and has a tray in front with the laptop clipped on top. I would be bumping into things. I know about the throwing away when I had just the typewriter. Then they came out with those word processing things that only showed a small part of what was on the screen. Not up to two hours but getting there. I wonder if an ipad would work.
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (60874)
• United States
1 Feb 11
I've heard of mothers who get up early, and work before getting kids up and sending them off to school. Working while they are in school. Doing housework after the kids get home and pretty much going to bed with the kids or working after they are in bed. I've also heard the writing in the morning before going to work, but a morning person I've never been!
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (60874)
• United States
2 Feb 11
generally speaking I can't come up with a fully thought out idea until after lunch, once in a great while I surprise myself, and those people around me who know me!
1 person likes this
@Catana (736)
• United States
21 Jan 11
I can spend most of a day working on my novel. Actually, I'm often working on two, alternately, either writing or editing. I wouldn't be surprised if I sometimes spend six or more hours that way, but with a lot of web surfing, blogging etc., in between so that I don't burn out. You need to get away from the computer every so often, not just to save your eyes, but to give your mind a rest. Whatever amount of time writing is comfortable for you is the right amount. I used to write articles for pay, but eventually got bored with it. I'm not making any money writing now, but plan to get my novels out, one by one, and put them online as ebooks. I hate writing for money, but if I can make some money doing the writing I love, that will be great.
1 person likes this
@Catana (736)
• United States
1 Feb 11
You misunderstand what page views means on Associated Content. You get paid for each time someone reads your articles. You don't get paid anything for reading other people's articles. If you write for Associated Content, you can increase your page views (get other people to read them) by promoting them. I hardly ever read anything on Associated Content, but my page views keep going up, especially on the articles that have good keywords on subjects that people are very interested in. Some people outside the United States make very good money on Associated Content, just from their page views, but it's something you have to keep working at. Write more articles and make sure that they have keywords that people are likely to be looking for.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
3 Feb 11
I will try to look into it. Right now I am trying to increase my novel writing time. But that will take a while because I need a bit more money. I have not been on Associated Content for a while and I am glad I do not have to read anyone' work unless I am truly into it. I used to be a member but do not know if I am still a member . It was the feeling that I had to surf that got me to get off of it.
@Catana (736)
• United States
3 Feb 11
I understand the conflict. I need extra money, too. There was no Social Security increase this year, but the cost of living keeps going up. I'd rather be working on my novels, because I prefer fiction now, and because I hope they'll eventually be bringing in some extra, even if it's not a lot. But writing articles would help right now. If your AC account is still active and you can add some articles now and then, that would help, for sure. Just glad I could let you know that you don't have to surf for articles to read. I tried to do that at the beginning, just to be fair, but it takes too much time from writing.
1 person likes this
@carmelanirel (20979)
• United States
21 Jan 11
I should make myself spend at least an hour on my novel, but after school work and my social networking, I barely have time to clean, cook and for myself. I know if I really wanted to I can work on my novel more, and that is my goal, even if it is for 20 minutes a day, I am going to work on it. Thanks for the inspiration suspenseful..
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
22 Jan 11
I am writing a little over an hour, but I start to get tired before I am finished, so I try to cut it into at least 30 minute periods. The trouble is that I wish I did not get tired when I have done 29 to 30 minutes of writing and wish I could go on for the whole hour. I find that the first twenty minutes of it is just trying to get the brain to work and after that, i can really fill in the details. I do wonder whether I should aim for two hours, like those other writers who can write while the house is burning down, or whether I should just stick to the one hour and a quarter that I am doing now.
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Jan 11
I can write and write and write. I spent a good portion of probably 2-4 hours a day during winter break working on my story. Are you writing this on the computer or on paper? If I had to write it on paper, I would get tired too, but I like typing and really my novel's storyline is all there, I am just editing and re-editing, making it as polished as I can before submitting it..
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
25 Jan 11
I cannot write on paper. I had a wrist injury and ever since then I can only write for ten minutes. With the computer, I can write for 45 minutes at a time and then I have to get around and walk around even though I am a fast typist. It is even though I love to write, I cannot spend hours at a time sitting down in one spot. I am on my 8th revision and trying to find out how much time to spend on getting it moving forward and also doing the revision. I feel I have to get it moving and yet there are things to fix in it. I am not up to 2 hours a day (sans Sundays) on it, but I also have to make some money - not that I need it, but I feel that Ido not want to just depend on my pensions. So thereby lies the problem. And would 2 hours be good enough or should I try for 3 hours on novel writing a day. Do you sit down at the computer all the time or do you get up periodically.
1 person likes this
@jane239 (521)
31 Jan 11
I'm working on a novel as well and finding the right balance is the most difficult thing especially when I have to balance it out around work that pays versus work that doesn't although I hope it will pay at some point. Rather than a set amount of time I tell myself I'm going to get a chapter or two finished by the end of the week or I'll write paragraphs when I have some spare time. Plus I write when I'm in the mood and a firm idea to work on otherwise I just end up staring at a blank page if I'm not careful.
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@jane239 (521)
2 Feb 11
I might try what you're doing and do a set amount of time or set a timer and see how I get on or if I get more done, I'll never finish my book at the rate I'm going at the moment. I'm struggling to balance out paid workand writing my novel at the moment.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
3 Feb 11
It is best to set a 20 minute minimum. I found on advice from writing sites that you do not get into your full flow until aftter that amount of time. And you can increase one second a day or set a timer that counts up if you use one of those downloade computers, and see how long you can do it. Sometimes you feel you have not written for that long, but then when you look at the timer, you will see you got more done then you thought you did.
@scheng1 (24801)
• Singapore
21 Jan 11
Hi Suspenseful, I do not have the patience to write novel, that is why I stick to article writing. At least I can finish an article and be done with the topic in less than twenty minutes. I do not use timer to force myself to write. My problem is always in the starting phase. Once I start writing, I do not have a problem anymore. The article will be completed.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
22 Jan 11
I do not have problems starting and I love to write, so it is not forcing myself (perhaps I should explain myself better)., I just want to know how long someone writes ast a time before they get tired and sleepy. With novel writing, 20 minutes is usually the start up time, but I do not know what time one should be at the max. I hear of other novelists saying they write for three or four hours and imaging the p0t on the stove boiling over, the dogs tearing up the house, and other disasters while they are still at the computer.
• United States
2 Feb 11
suspenseful: I have a lexmark Z1300 and it only got me 40.00 at Walmart and I have had it over 3 years and it still works great and you can get the all-in-one at office depot for about 65.00 this is the one I am saving up for. I love anything that has to do with writing and it is what I do in my spare time. I am determined to make this work and I think I might write things on Cosmetology since I went to school for it and can't seem to find a job that is salary plus commission, everything I see is on booth rental and I can't afford that because the shops charge at lot for it and it is hard from someone right out of school to be able to afford their prices.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
3 Feb 11
I went through the cheap printers and I heard that the ink for the Lexmark is expensive compared to the other ones. And if you buy the ink with the black,and the three colored, what happens if for instance all the red runs out, then you have to buy another cartridge. Since I am writing a science fiction fantasy and need to make a map of the weird country, a printer that ha colored capacity in which if one color is gone, I can buy a cartridge for that one color. So I am thinking of getting a Canon. I was thinking of getting a wide print one because then I can get sheet music online for people like me who need glasses for fine print, but that is a bit too much and they often do not offer the single color cartridge.
• United States
1 Feb 11
I love to write and trying to figure out how to start writing a book. I have been writing articles and the editor told me that I have a potential on becoming a good writer in anything I wanted to write about. I also love getting on my lots just for the fun of it. Getting started as a writer is hard since I need a way to make money as I can no longer work because I have diabetes and someday I care barely see to read anything. So decided not to look for a job but stay home and write even though I have been writing different things since I was a little girl. Witing has been more a passion for me other than making money at it. I love to write so in my spare time I am trying to work on some kind of book just not sure what yet.
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
2 Feb 11
The trouble with writing is that it does not pay much. And you need all the equipment to get started. Me I have bad luck with printers. The first one we got was a portable that just printed in black and white. Then we got a bigger printer that I loved but it had a serial port and the adapted for the usb cost almost 50 bucks. Then my husband got his computer and it had a good printer, but now it is gone. I got a computer with a mini printer that would have been perfect for your articles, since you had to write novels you would spend much paying for the ink. So now I have to save for a better printer, one made b a different company
@dodo19 (32869)
• Beaconsfield, Quebec
24 Jan 11
I do try to spend time working on my novel, as much as I can. But sometimes, it's not always possible at the moment, as I'm a student, and don't always have the time, because of other work that I have to do for classes. I really should make time, and I will, but sometimes, it just gets tricky.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
2 Feb 11
There is so much doing that I have to feel what is necessary. For instance with just writing, I have to figure well here I am on mylot and for the two reasons that those beginners ask and whose posts get deleted. Of course there is the third one recruitment that has to be put on the make money section and not here. And of course here if you are good enough or long winded that at the end of the month ---=. Therefore I feel there is a conflict, especially when I want to find out something that is current or write on a novel that is from my imagination, but has to be revised one or two more times, have to find an agent, send it in, and then wait for it to get published. Not to mention I need a new printer and right now I cannot afford it. I remember when I went to school and if I did any writing, well it was just a short story and was mostly for fun, but now I want to write a novel and get it published. With me it is housework, singing, piano playing, etc. And it seems the housework is taking quite a bit of my time.
@LittleMel (14055)
• Canada
22 Jan 11
I do plan for writing but it won't be a novel I can't imagine sitting in front of pc writing I can do that for hours but not only doing one thing guess it depends on what you write and the author itself
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
1 Feb 11
I would rather walk around, dictate my novel, and have the computer automatically write it down just like they did on Star Trek, I am more of an active person. But of course cannot do that as I also want to see the novel while I am moving around. I do wonder if an ipad would help, but do not know if it would.
@lydneis (26)
• United States
22 Jan 11
I'm not disiplined enough to have a set schedual, and I get easily distracted but when I'm focused and actually inspired I've writen as long as 12 hours straight. Some days I just stare at the screen for awhile before giving up and moving on to something else. This site actually helps me because I'm still writing but I don't have to come up with all the material and don't feel presured. I'm trying to get better at writing everyday but it can be really difficult if my brain decides it doesn't want to work.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
1 Feb 11
I could not sit for 12 hours and write. I can write for three quarters of an hour and then I have to get up and do something. So I write one part in the afternoon and one part in the evening. I wish my eyes would not get tired while writing and I want to have my house at least decently clean. What I am doing now is mainly editting and putting in or taking out the extraneous sutff. Also getting the characters different. And it takes more than 20 minutes do that. It is not the "I hate writing and I have to write this novel," it is just that I wish I could do more and I have so much information that I have to get it down on the compuiter. I really think that we were met to live thousands of years because sometimes there is not enough time to write everythng.
@cher913 (25891)
• Canada
22 Jan 11
when i was writing a book, i wasfortunate that i wasnt working outside of the house. i wrote paying articles for 4 days per week and every friday, i worked on my book.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
24 Jan 11
I think you have to work on your book six days a week to get it so it sounds good and the words flow. I was wondering how to make sure that writing for pay would not interfere with writing for later publication. I do most of my novel writing in the afternoon but cannot sit for an hour or more at the computer without my brain turning foggy. And I get upset because I want my brain to be working then, especially when I later notice that one of the character's names was spelled different or suddenly out of nowhere, something appeared that did not have a clue in a beginning chapter. Had that happen to me quite a few times, not to mention when I was using my late husband's pc laptop and the numericals key got in the way and instead of typing the letters, I typed numbers.
• United States
21 Jan 11
I too balance my freelance writing with creating characters for my novels. Some days I don't even put my fingers on the home row keys because I'm tossing around ideas in my head for what I want to write. Its not hard to keep a balance, people who work 9-5 have a balance of work and home life. I'm at home all the time but its good to get out and get your blood pumping for new ideas. I usually do myLot throughout the day and lots of discussion topics help with writing.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
24 Jan 11
I cannot sit at the computer all day - weight problem, so I feel I have to limit my time. But when it comes to writing for pay and for writing on my novel, I do not know what percentage of time to spend on each and still get up and do exercise, clean the house, play piano, practice my singing lessons, and of course, go for a walk. I do love it here especially near the end of the month when there are lots of interesting subjects. The beginning is not that good, because some people write without thinking. IBut how much time do I spend for my novel? My friends are wondering why I have not got published yet, but I have to get a new printer and that costs money.
@cripfemme (7718)
• United States
21 Jan 11
I have a hard time with finding balance between writing for money immediately and working a longer term creative project. I try to spend an equal amount of time doing my money making work and my creative work. I admit that sometimes my creative work gets pushed aside because i really need to make money that month. In those cases i spend a lot of time here and at my other payed to post sites. If i had my way i would spend a lot more time doing bigger creative projects that take more time but will pay off bigger in the end. Unfortunately, landlords and other people you owe money to don't want to hear that you are working on a project and will pay them later. They want there money as soon as possible.
@dragon54u (31617)
• United States
21 Jan 11
I don't do creative writing as you do but I make money writing articles and I can tell you that your eyes and hands get tired! It's also bad for your circulation to sit for a long time so I try to get up at least once an hour to walk around, get a cup of coffee, play with the dogs or whatever. When I was trying to sit here and write for hours at a time my eyes felt like sandpaper and my joints ached. I think you should set it for 45 minutes and then take a 15 minute break. That's pretty much how I do it and I find that I'm more productive that way.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
22 Jan 11
That sounds like a good idea. Right now my eyes get tired at 30 minutes, but if I can increase the time to 45 and then do something physical in the 15 minute break or have a cup of coffee, then I can start up again. I find that if I sit too long at the computer I cannot get my brain to work. Do not have to worry about my joints, but well I do not want to fall asleep on the computer