The advice from many authors is simple and straight forward: Write every day. My personal goal is to write 500 words per day on my newest novel. If I don’t get any writing done in a day, I feel like I’m not being committed to my craft. Only recently, after spending several hours on writing projects for nonprofit organizations for which I volunteer, did I realize I might be feeling guilt where none should exist.
Both writing endeavors required research on the topics, interviews, and developing the article. One even included writing a press release promoting this particular event. Both took in excess of 10 hours to complete. So why am I thinking the only writing that’s of consequence is working on another book? I realized that’s not true, but I won’t say it’s easy admitting that writing shouldn’t be limited to fingers typing furiously on a keyboard.
Research is definitely an integral part of writing, whether fiction or nonfiction. As the editors for my upcoming novel, Salvation Station, were asking questions about areas of plot and pointing out scenarios that didn’t make sense, I needed to edit, revise, and provide well-thought out answers. I was back to researching facts in an effort to construct a believable story, steeped in reality and suspense.
Perhaps I should redefine what writing 500 words a day means. Must it be creating brand new material? Or does it also encompass revising, the place where authors spend the majority of their time? How about research? Interviews? Even proofreading?
As fellow authors, what are your personal writing goals and what efforts do you include when trying to achieve those goals?