When’s Your Best Writing Window?

And what do you do when that window isn’t there?

Debbi Michiko Florence is on a writing roll. If you haven’t been reading her blog or following her on Facebook, you might have missed the fact that she is facing and hitting writing deadlines right & left these days. It’s pretty inspirational to watch!

This morning, she’s got a post up about writing in the mornings and what happened last Friday, when she couldn’t focus and missed that window. Lately, I’ve been watching my son deal with lots of homework and busier days, and I’ve been wondering what–in an ideal world–would be his best working time. I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be until after 11:00 in the morning! πŸ™‚

For me, it’s morning. Not early–I’m not a bright-and-chipper, up-before-the-sun kind of person. In my happy place, I roll out of bed at 8:00 or so, have breakfast, and then bring my mug of tea to the computer. Occasionally, I do get a spurt of writing juice after dinner, where a scene just rolls onto the screen–and, oh, I love those times.

The thing is, life is just not always that accommodating. Debbi had a morning where the focus didn’t comeβ€”so she pushed herself & got things to work in the afternoon. My son’s school starts before lunchtime (go figure!) every day, and–while he might at some point find out that he does his best work between nine p.m. and midnight, that’s just not going to happen with homework these days. My mornings aren’t seamless flows from bed to computer–I don’t know many moms (and probably not a lot of dads) for whom they are.

So…we make it work. These days, I try to get to my writing as soon as I can after dropping my son off at school. It’s true that, if I get into anything else, even one phone call to schedule an appointment or ten minutes to get laundry moving, my focus shifts from writing to a whole slew of other need-to-dos.

In your ideal world, when would you write? Are you a night owl who gets their words out while everyone else is sleeping? Or are you able to wake up before the birds and get a chapter out? In the real world, when do you carve out the hours to get the best focus you can…to get that time to create?

Advertisements

28 thoughts on “When’s Your Best Writing Window?

    • beckylevine says:

      Changing environments is big. I think they’re starting to figure that out about kids & homework, too–less of this Have One Place & One Place Only To Work attitude.

      Like

  1. Kelly Fineman says:

    I don’t have a “best window of time”. Any time I can clear my thoughts and sit down to write is actually a good one for me. Later in the day is generally more productive, though – afternoon and late night in particular.

    Like

    • beckylevine says:

      I do sometimes wonder if, without school pick-up and homework, whether I would do better with that time. It can be, when I’m alone, a quieter time for my mind. But I’m sure I’ll miss all the business of the afternoon/evening when I get it! πŸ™‚

      Like

  2. claudine says:

    I mentioned that early morning or late at night would be best as far as finding alone time, but as far as my mind and body are concerned, I think about 9 or 10 in the morning is prime alert time.
    I think for me it’s more setting up an ideal environment, rather than a certain time. To that end, I’ve ordered a couple “white noise” cd’s to create a kind of isolation space. Wish me luck!
    Thanks for this thought-provoking post. It was good to try to analyze what would work best for me.
    c

    Like

  3. Ideally, I think I’d rather write late at night. It seems to be a time when inspiration is at its highest for me. Maybe it’s simply because of the quiet, the only sound being my computer humming.

    Like

    • beckylevine says:

      The few times I’ve managed to get up and write early, I do have that lovely nothing-else-happening feeling. At night, I’m all too often ready to go to sleep! πŸ™‚

      Like

    • beckylevine says:

      I SO wish I could write late at night. But I’d have to sleep to noon, I think, to make that work. Hey, wait…that’s not TOO bad an idea! πŸ™‚

      Like

  4. My best writing time is (anytime I can get the rest of the household to leave me alone for at least an hour) between about 1:00pm and about 9:00pm. I don’t work well late at night. When I try, I tend to write the same sentence over and over without noticing until I reread the passage the next day. Mornings I usually spend taking care of mundane must-dos that will otherwise eat at me while I try to write. Although if the house is completely empty (but for me), I can jump straight out of bed and into writing.

    Like

    • beckylevine says:

      That’s so funny–for me, in terms of writng, really 8:00 on is late!

      I’m getting better at pushing those mundane things away for a while. I realized a while ago that they always manage to get themselves done around here; it’s the writing I don’t get back to! Empty house definitely equals good writing, if I know it’ll be empty for a while. Did you ever read Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own?

      Like

  5. Stella Michel says:

    I find I write better early in the morning, also with a mug of tea in hand (one of the few things I’m good for so early in the day), or late at night. Lately, I just want to find my mojo. Seems I’ve misplaced it.

    Like

    • beckylevine says:

      I’m better in the morning, too. Occasionally at night, but not often enough!

      Have you tried putting your mojo on the calendar? πŸ™‚

      Like

  6. I’m at my most creative in the morning 7:30-10:30am, (that’s when new ideas or solutions most often hit) but I get the most actual writing done late at night when everyone is in bed. Not ideal, but that’s what I have to work with at the moment.

    Very interesting to hear about how/when different people work.

    Like

  7. Thanks for the kudos. πŸ™‚ I hope I can keep the momentum up. I’m finding that Fridays are a challenge for me to focus. Maybe it’s that I worked hard M – Th and I’m feeling a little drained by Friday? Or maybe I’m just excited to have a weekend with my husband and I get distracted. Whatever the reason, I’m trying hard to get through my writing goals this morning – but as you can see from my comment here, I’m breaking a self-imposed rule and poking about the web. πŸ˜‰ Happy writing!

    Like

    • beckylevine says:

      For me, Mondays are the hard day–I think because some weekends I have to detach myself so far from the writing thing that it’s tougher to get back in. I find I do better those days if I plan on writing out, not at home.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s