Reader Friday: How Often Do You Write/Read?

How many hours per day/week do you write? Ballpark.

How many hours per day/week do you read? Ballpark.

Do you wish you could write/read more? Or are you happy with your schedule?

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About Sue Coletta

Sue Coletta is an award-winning crime writer and an active member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. Feedspot and named her Murder Blog as β€œBest 100 Crime Blogs on the Net.” She also blogs at the Kill Zone (Writer's Digest "101 Best Websites for Writers") and Writers Helping Writers. Sue lives with her husband in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire and writes two psychological thriller series, Mayhem Series and Grafton County Series (Tirgearr Publishing) and is the true crime/narrative nonfiction author of PRETTY EVIL NEW ENGLAND: True Stories of Violent Vixens and Murderous Matriarchs (Rowman & Littlefield Group). Currently on submission, her latest true crime project revolves around a grisly local homicide. For the spring 2022 semester, Sue will be teaching a virtual course about serial killers at EdAdvance in CT and a condensed version for the Central Virginia Chapter and National Sisters In Crime. Equally fun was when she appeared on the Emmy award-winning true crime series, Storm of Suspicion. Learn more about Sue and her books at

32 thoughts on “Reader Friday: How Often Do You Write/Read?

  1. Write: 1-2 hours a day, 7 days a week. I sit until I get 500 words, but usually hit between 600 to 750.

    Read: 2-3 hours per day, 4 to 5 days a week. I’m not reading as much as I used to.

    I’m happy. Hope you are too, Sue! Have a great weekend.

    • Sounds like a great schedule, Joe. You and Jim both write to a quota. Interesting. I do have a word count goal, but if the words are flowing I keep writing. Now I’m curious if everyone writes to a quota, then stops.

      Have a great weekend!

  2. Being a quota man, the number of hours depends on whether it’s flowing or trudging. Could be an hour…or four. Rarely more than that.

    I read all the time, but too much of it is on my phone now. Anyway, if I get in a couple of hours (cumulative) it’s a good day. I can’t read in bed. Two pages and I’m sawing logs.

    • I’m the same way, Jim. Never been able to read in bed without falling asleep. It’s interesting that you stop writing once you reach your quota. I keep going. And yet, your output is amazing. Hmmm…

    • Me too. No way I can read in bed. I find it even hard to meditate because the minute I get still I go to sleep. LOL! So my meditation has to be in the form of walking. It’s the closest thing I’ve found to work.

  3. I have 30 minutes per day M-F as my writing goal because that’s do-able with everything else I have to do. Most often that ended up being a few hours on Friday (my day off). Our new boss changed our schedule to 5 days so writing day will probably be Sunday after church now. I wish it could be more, but I still have a screenplay, a short story, and most of another screenplay done in the past couple of months so that’s something at least.

    Reading: I always have an audio commute time and dog-walking book going. E-books = mad reading marathon the night before the library yanks them back.

  4. Hi, Sue, a great motivator you are (Yoda-speak). I’m in crunch mode to get books 1-3 of a new thriller series finished in draft by April 1. Projects I’ve been nibbling at for the past two years. At this stage that requires 3,000 wds/day. I’ve made that twice, working 6+ hours both days, but–things, like assembling exercise machines for a new fitness center. Watching Nick Stephenson marketing videos. Eating. Saying hello to my wife.
    A good day is 1500-2000.
    I read 1 or 2 hours at night. Not as much as I’d like, but it’s what I can manage under this workload.
    As an aside for you, 4 days out of 7 on my morning 6:30 walks I get a crow’s hello from overhead or one of the trees. I’m pretty sure it’s the same individual. Flying silent until directly overhead. Love ’em.

    • Love that you found crow friends, Dan! Aren’t they amazing? Just the sight of them fills me with warmth and love. Tell them I say hi. πŸ™‚

      Crunch time can be brutal, right? I’m right there with you, racing toward the finish line with my psychological thriller while crafting and teaching an online course. Good luck with your new series!

  5. Hi Sue–I’d say 3-4 hours of writing time*, and 1-2 hours of reading. I’d like to increase my reading. I do it first thing, then at bed time. I want to set up a daily afternoon reading hour during the week.

    *I’m also in the process of changing my writing process, so that I can more effectively use my writing time, since I often I’m not as focused as I need to be. I actually have 2 hours first thing and 3 hours each afternoon during the week, and then Saturday and Sunday mornings to write.

    I’m heading to my first in-person writing retreat in two years next week, in the Olympic rainforest, and that will help me with the new process. (Plus, it’s an amazing setting πŸ™‚

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    • A rainforest setting sounds amazing, Dale! And so inspirational.

      Interesting that you break up your writing time. I’m much more productive in the mornings, so if I don’t start then it throws off my writing mojo. I try to leave off in the middle of a scene to break for lunch. Easier to get back into the swings of things after lunch. Or I’ll switch to a nonfiction project or marketing. Come 3:30-4 p.m. I’m junk. I use the remainder of my time to read. It’s a wonderful way to end the day.

      Enjoy your retreat!

  6. Hi Sue & fellow KZers. I keep a daily journal that includes recording my time blocks and word count. I went back over the last 10 days and see I averaged 9.5 hours per day of reading and writing and mmmmmarketing – not including break time. My w/c is way down because I’m in rabbit hole default at the moment, but when I’m in the zone I aim for around 3500 words per day. My target is scenes or articles, not just words for the sake of getting words out. Gotta go and climb outa the hole – there’s a blog post to do for tomorrow. Enjoy your day!

    • If we’re combining the two (or three), I average about the same, Garry. Six days a week with Sundays off. Since football ended, I spend most Sundays reading and chillin’ with Bob and our furbabies. I’ve always set a number of scenes as my daily writing goals. But after reading JSB’s craft book, I started counting words, too. The jury’s still out on which makes me more productive. πŸ˜‰

      Write on, my friend…

  7. No ballpark needed for writing except a weekly writing blog which can take an hour or two. The joys of retirement. Reading. I don’t read fiction every day, but, when I have a novel, three to four hours at night. I read so fast that usually means a whole novel in one night or maybe an extra hour or two, the next, to finish it.

    • Wow, Marilynn. I have a friend who reads a novel per day. Fast readers amaze me. The quickest I’ve ever finished a novel was two full days, dawn to dusk. I got nothing else done those days, but I can think of worse ways to spend time. πŸ˜‰

  8. Good morning, Sue. As always, good question for Friday.

    Here are my goals (not always reality!):
    At least two hours writing. If things are going well, that can extend until I’m too hungry to continue. πŸ™‚
    At least two hours reading.

    I used to keep track of time spent in Clockify. Garry reminded me I need to get back to keeping records.

    Have a great weekend.

  9. I would say I devote more time to figuring out the mechanics of my craft than actually putting words on pages although I try to do something every day. I count blogging in there somewhere. A lot of it is researching things that seem like they might have a story in there somewhere and figuring out the mechanics of writing crime fiction stories using the well known ABDCE pattern.

    As far as reading goes I love short story anthologies and my scribd account on my ipad is loaded like a hungry man’s plate at Golden Corral. Usually it leads from one thing to another and if I find a craft guide I like I trot over to Amazon or the public library or Half Price Books for a gander. I’m a fan of snappy crime writing and if I could live inside someone’s head rent free it would be Edna Buchanan, Sid Feder, or Charlie LeDuff.

    Most recently I have been reading “The Corpse In The Cellar and Further Tales of Cleveland Woe” By John Stark Bellamy II. It’s historical crime reporting. A wonderful writer too.

    I have a day job more or less, I fix tube audio gear and guitar amplifiers for local musicians. That can eat up as many hours as you want to put into it, and I know that I should be writing but people are waiting for their gear. Problem is I let projects pile up because I can’t say no to people and their basket cases. Day jobs are like that.

    The good thing is the commute is short-down one flight of stairs and I don’t have to dress up.

    But before that I sit down for my daily injection of TKZ. It’s a lifeline to the world I aspire to.

    • Awesome, Robert! My husband has the same problem. He’s a small engine mechanic (shop is on our property) and he gets slammed, everyone wanting their mowers, snowblowers, chainsaws, etc, etc. ASAP. He never says no, either. πŸ˜‰

      Short story collections are huge right now. They work well for busy folks. I enjoy novellas or Singles in between longer works.

      Rock on! (seemed apt, considering your work. πŸ˜‰ )

  10. Sorry I’m so late commenting, Sue. Our electricity was off all day.

    I average 3-4 hours per day writing. I average 1-2 hours per day reading.

    I wish I had more time to read. I’m satisfied with the writing time. I’m usually hitting my word goal with that.

    Great question. Sorry I was so late to the party.

    • No need to apologize, Steve. There’s been plenty of times when my schedule didn’t allow me to get to TKZ. Glad your electricity is back on!

      Sounds like a schedule that works. I wish I had more reading time, too. So many books, so little time. πŸ™‚

  11. I also aplologize (sic) for being delayed. I spent much of the day rehearsing my lines with another actor (cough). Hooley-san has got me beat, both for reading and writing . . . and probably ‘rithmatic, as well. I average maybe 2 hours per diem writing and researching, and (not counting perusing drivel on the Internerd) read ~ one book every six months. But there is a lot of stellar drivel on-line: I did my research for an (as yet unfinished) reprise of Jekyll & Hyde there. And there, as Longfellow put it: “An ADD boy’s will is the wind’s will. . .” and mine, as well.

  12. At this time, I’m confined time-wise because of a baby in the house. I’m getting in 90 minutes a day rather than a word quota. But actually, you can do a lot in 90 minutes!

  13. Write 2-3 hours a day, 7 days a week (unless the fishing is good). Social Media, 2 hours/day, Read, 1 hour a day, 5 days a week.

    Wish I could read more…

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