When is the best time for writing?
This question came to my mind a few weeks ago. When is the best time for writing? On reflection, I would guess that I could get as many answers as there are writers reading this post. We are all different, and that means we will all have individual methods of writing, including times where we concentrate on our literary pursuits. There is no right answer, nor will one approach suit everyone.
If you are a professional writer, say a journalist, you will have no choice. Your editors will expect your writing to be done on demand, usually with a non-negotiable deadline. Even freelance writers will have strict time-lines for submission. Those who write for magazines or who are writing novels may have publishers ringing them asking when the manuscript will appear on their desk.
For the vast majority of writers – from hobbyists through to professionals like novelists – deadlines are usually not as pressing, or may be absent entirely. I’m certainly in this latter group. While I am trying to establish myself as a full-time, professional writer, I am not relying on my writing for financial support. Any income is a bonus. So I have the luxury of writing – or not.
Although I don’t have to produce income generating writing, I try to be as professional as I can in my approach to my writing life. I usually try to get a few hours in every morning, a few more hours in the afternoon and often several more in the evening. Several times a week I will relax and allow myself some television, or reading. I will also take time out to read during the day, especially when I take a break for a cuppa. With all the writing I have done over the last seven years (since retiring from school teaching) I find I can now generally write on demand. Doing my Master of Arts in Creative Writing over the last three years has certainly helped me develop this skill; it’s amazing how motivated one can be when an assignment is due the next day.
I used to say that I don’t do mornings. That attitude came from having a job to go to, where there was no option. Now I have the option to write, or not, I find that it is no longer an issue. I’ve even woken at 5am and have written over a 1000 words before breakfast. This is quite out of character for me, but the stillness of the early morning is very conducive to creative writing. Sometimes the words really flow late at night and I’m tempted to write on into the wee hours. At my age this becoming less and less attractive; I need the sleep!
I guess what I’m trying to say – in a very long winded way – is that we all have to find what works for us. Experiment with different approaches, and different times of the day and see what works best. The time of day doesn’t really matter. What matters is that you are writing. Every day.
I’d love to hear what works best for you. Leave you suggestions in the comments, thanks.