Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Worst Time to Write

Pretty subjective, right? I mean that really boils down to who you are, what your personality is like and what you do with your day (do you have a full time job and write in between or are you a full-time writer with perhaps a part-time side job or no other job at all; just kids running around the house).

Any writer you talk to is going to tell you something different; have a different time or schedule or lack thereof for writing. So, all I can do is tell you what my ‘worst’ time for writing is.

Ahem – the middle of the night.

Okay, lots of writers cherish that time. They say it’s quiet and they can get a lot accomplished. Lots of caffeine and away we go.

Yeah, well, okay for them. To each their own.

Here’s how it goes for me. My best time is morning followed closely by right after lunch. I can write other hours and have written other hours including the middle of the night, but for me it’s not recommended.

For starters in the middle of the night I want to go to sleep. Sorry, no night owl here. Never have been. Age didn’t matter, young, older, whatever, I like to sleep in the dark.

And, because I want to sleep I’ll probably drop off sometime in there while writing and my nose will end up flattened in the keyboard. Painful when I do wake up and messes up the document something terrible.  Also I might add caffeine doesn’t really work for me – unless I drink something caffeinated right before bed time because I had a craving and don’t want it to work. Go figure.

I admit I am one truly lucky writer. I have my study and I have all day to choose my hours. Not that I don’t keep fixed hours because if you don’t you won’t write. Seriously. Keep that in mind.

There was a time when I had to have a full time job and write around it. That consisted of a 9-5 job from which I raced home, grabbed some dinner like I was running a relay race, then lock myself into my study for three to four hours as night settled in. No TV, no movies (except maybe on a weekend) and reading was restricted to my early mornings and lunch hours. It was stressful.  Thankfully at that point I wasn’t married, at least not at first. When I did get married we had to have the ‘talk’ before we got serious. In this case the ‘talk’ wasn’t about sex or kids or anything like that, it was instead about how important my writing was to me and how I couldn’t give it up but was willing to negotiate concessions. 

The guy I married was nothing short of saintly and understanding. He wrote too though he wasn’t the fanatic I was.  (Check out his young adult books on Amazon like The Tales of Caer Alban  The Voyage of thePeregrin and Dragons & Demons, Angels & Eagles). So no doubt that helped. Even if he wasn’t possessed as I was, he at least understood and we worked to have a schedule that allowed for work, my writing and time together. Wonderfully strangely it worked out. I eventually transitioned to a part time job in the afternoons as an attorney’s assistant leaving mornings free for writing.

But that’s in the past now and I write full time. It makes life a lot easier because I don’t have to write evenings (which I never liked anyway) or in the dark of the night.

Another reason my personal worst writing time is late at night or during the wee hours is it’s dark. For some reason my brain cells don’t fire at their best in the dark. Doesn’t matter I got a daylight lamp on my desk. Yes, I can see better with it, but the focusing thing is still a problem.  

Besides, when I force myself to stay up late I’m almost in party mode. It’s like let’s go catch a movie or hang out with friends. Why am I here at this keyboard and staring at a Word document? Why are my characters even up this late?

So you can see why the dead of the night is the worst time for me to be writing. And of course that’s me. How about you? If you write jot down your favorite time in the comments box. If you just love to read, welcome to a little corner of my world.

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