How do you count your writing hours?

Do they count only when you are working on your novel?

Writers often spend time on writerly activities as opposed to adding to their word count on their next book.

Does writing a blog count? Do you write about your books, about your work-in-progress, or invite guest novelists to post on your page?

Do you write articles for your RWA chapter newsletter? (Not only is it good practice, it helps get your name out there.)

Entering contests is a given, but what about judging contests? You aren’t writing, but you may find reading other writers’ work does something to sharpen your own skill set.

How about those exercises you do during workshops? Or attending a conference, where you may not write a word, but soak up everything the presenter is willing to share?

Do  you attend book fairs or book clubs and talk about your book?

All are activities that pertain to writing.

Lately I’ve been typesetting stories and poems for our writer’s club’s anthology, which comes out every three years. This is the year for the winners of the last three annual contests to have their work published. My fingers itch to play editor. One solid page of typing–where are the paragraphs? There should be one here and here. Did the author not know how to use her tab key?

Sometimes I do edit, if I am absolutely, positively certain that the writer meant that her mind wandered, not wondered. Although it could be wondered. So I look at the context and make an editorial decision. I might correct the spelling on a sixth-grader’s story. By now he or she is in ninth grade and will probably thank me. I think.

All this means I haven’t been working on my own story. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking about it. Does that count?

Sigh. No, it doesn’t.

But all the rest? I think it does. There is more to writing than sitting down at your keyboard. At least, I think so.

What do you think?







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