When & Where do you Write?
The more I read and talk to other writers, the more I realize the answer to these two questions can be as diverse as the writer.
There are no set rules, no hidden formula to a productive writing time. Each author has their own recipe for success. And even then, it’s not written in stone.
I know some writers who insist early in the morning is the best time for them; they’ve had a good night’s sleep and are fresh to face that blank piece of paper/screen.
Others do best later in the day, when all their chores and responsibilities are out of the way, and the family is off doing their daily routine (school, work, etc.).
Then there are the night owls. They insist they do their best work late at night when there are no distractions and they can concentrate on their work in progress.
Personally, I’m all over the place. There are so many factors that can affect when I write. If I’m in my creative stage, late at night is my time. I collect all the thoughts that have been spinning around in my head during the day and put them into a solid idea and expand on it.
If I’m at my editing stage, or trying to work through a weak spot or solve a problem I’ve created, then morning is best. My mind is clear and I can focus. But it needs to be earlier while I have the house to myself.
Research and planning are best for the middle of the afternoon. I can sit at my desk and distractions don’t seem to bother me. It’s easy to break away from the work in front of me to watch the birds outside my window or talk to my hubby when he comes out to ask me a question.
Of course these are not set rules. As every writer knows, when the idea for your storyline is new, there is an excitement that goes along with it. There is a hunger to get the ideas down as fast as possible so you don’t lose them. You may find yourself shutting yourself in your office, blocking out everything else, for hours at a time. Eventually the newness of the idea becomes a solid outline, and then a rough draft. This is when you begin your writing routine.
Does part of this routine include a designated location where you work from?
Mine is where-ever. That’s it; where-ever. I do a lot of dictations and as long as I have my phone with me, I’m good to go. Some of my most productive time is at lunch when I’m in my car, sitting along the river. No distractions, no interruption-just writing time (in between bites of my lunch). Having a laptop allows me to take my WIP where I want; be it under the oak tree in the front yard, by the pool or sitting by the hubby on the couch (ear plugs needed for this one since the TV is on). Serious editing needs to be done at my desk. I seem to do better in a more professional setting for the editing stage.
Every writer has to find what works for them. It may take a few books before you find your rhythm. But I think mixing it up every once in a while, also stirs the creative juices and keeps you from becoming stagnate.
So move around, find your sweet spot, find your creative and productive times, and get to work on your next project.