I wondered recently how much time I spend writing. It’s my main activity outside work, so I expected it to be quite a while.
My wife works shifts – often whole weekends including sleep-ins - and Junior is a teenager so has his own life. That means I often get the house to myself for hours at a time. I also do much of my proof reading on hardcopy in the living room with wife and child around.
So, I don’t think writing particularly keeps me away from being with the family. Certainly not as much as spending evenings in the pub would, anyway!
For the last couple of weeks I’ve timed myself. I’m staggered to realise my writing activities take about fifteen hours a week! That, of course, is about two working days.
I average around an hour each evening after work, and five hours a day at weekends. That’s assuming nothing else comes up – obviously, if we spend a Saturday or Sunday visiting relatives that’s a chunk out of my fifteen hours.
So, what do I do in that time?
Well, I haven’t timed each activity, but the various tasks include, in approximate order of time taken:
- Editing with pen and paper;
- Putting the edited bits into electronic copy;
- Writing first drafts;
- Keeping web pages, blogs, etc up to date;
- Poring over listings of publishers, reviewers and similar;
- General correspondence (with publishers, other writers, reviewers etc);
- Housekeeping the various folders on my computer;
- Submitting pieces.
Even with fifteen hours a week devoted to writing I don’t run out of things to do.
Is there anything I’d like to do a lot more of? Yes. Researching remote, rugged locations hidden away in the north Welsh mountains –preferably near a pub! Fortunately we were there at the weekend for a break, in a cosy little cottage on the outskirts of Rhyd Ddu in Snowdon’s foothills, then on to a hotel in Capel Curig for a night. It was great!