Mark Buchanan’s Writing Rhythm
Mark Buchanan is one of my favorite authors. He’s a pastor, a teacher, and a man who can really turn a phrase. I had the chance to interview Mark last week for Leadership Journal. One of the questions I asked was this:
What is your writing rhythm? Are you an early morning writer, a late-night writer?
I write almost everything I produce—books, blogs, or articles—in a 4–5 hour block every Friday. I awake around 6:30 AM. I exercise, shower, eat, make coffee, read 2 chapters of Scripture and a few pages each of theology and history. Then, around 9 AM, I fire up the computer, and buckle down. I usually write until 2:00 PM (with a brief lunch break around 12:30). I try to finish shorter magazine pieces (under 1000 words) in a single sitting. Longer pieces, in two. When I”m working on a book, I don”t grant myself permission to leave until I’ve produced a minimum of 1500 words. Most trade books are 65,000 words. At the rate of 1500 words a week, I need 43 weeks to complete a book—roughly 10 months.I do, however, block out two to three 5 day writing blitzes when I’m moving toward a book deadline—at least one just to write, two if needed, and one just to edit the complete manuscript. For the writing marathons, I write 12-14 hours each day, and require of myself a minimum of 4000 words a day—so I can write roughly a third of a book in one 5-day block. In the editing marathon, I typically edit about 10 hours a day.