When Do I Write

When Do I Write

All the writers web sites that offer advice for writers advises that a writer find that “best” time for them to write and then write at the same time every day. The purposes for this are many. First and foremost writing at the same time of day develops the discipline of writing. Writing is a skill but it requires discipline to develop that skill. And you must exercise any discipline regularly and consistently if it is to grow.

Writing at the same time of day is very important because most of us have a “best” time of day when we are our most productive. For some of us it is early morning just as the sun is rising. I know people who rise at the crack of dawn whether they need to or not. My own father spent most of his life getting up with the sun. First, he grew up on a farm, then he served in the military and later he worked in a window factory. But, the job he worked for the last twenty years of his life was for the United States Postal Service where he worked second shift. Despite working until late at night my father still rose with the sunshine, telling my mother there was no need for her to get up with me for school since he was up already.

Some people are their most productive later in the afternoon, needing to be up and about for several hours and get other things out-of-the-way so they can concentrate. These people most likely prefer a sunset to a sunrise. Part of this may be because they work a “day” job and must do that early in the day. This group of people may sit with their laptop and write while their family watches television or does homework around them. I have one writer friend who actually writes throughout the day and evening, depending on the writing projects she has and their deadlines.

As for myself, I prefer to write late at night. I am a true night owl. I remember even as a small child I would doze on the school bus on the way to school in the morning, eating only the lightest breakfast because my system just wasn’t awake enough to digest food. That was reinforced when my father took his second shift job and I stayed up late to see him. On weeknights if I didn’t stay up late I would not have seen him until the weekend. Today that experience serves me well because in my “regular” job I work in a customer service call center, most of the time working second shift and sometimes working until after midnight.

Since I need time to unwind when I arrive home I don’t get to bed until some time later which means I sleep very late in the morning. So, no early morning or evening writing for me. Instead I write very late at night, after midnight many times. What I have learned to love about this is that the world is quiet at this time of night. The rest of the world is asleep. During this time I can read either for profit or just for fun; I can write; I can do research. When everything is quiet the words just seem to flow. I can turn off the internet and I know the phone won’t ring. There are no noisy cars and trucks or planes and helicopters overhead (I live near a major airport).

So, when is your best time to write? Have you found it yet or are you still trying to find it? 

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