Previously on the blog, we’ve spoken about the perfect writing environment. The impossibility of finding that ideal setting to sit down and let your imagination run free. But how about the perfect time of day to write? I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, so let’s decide shall we…?
First thing in the morning
Some insist morning is best. After all, you can sit down, and get your writing done before the distractions of the day set in. Setting an alarm and waking earlier than usual can give you that much needed extra time, when life doesn’t always allow free time. But it can’t be the perfect writing time, because it doesn’t work for everybody. Some can’t process their thoughts early in the morning. Sometimes you oversleep, or wake early to find something vital needs doing. So…
Perhaps lunch time is best. You’ve had enough time to wake up, but not enough of the day to be exhausted. You can take a quiet break and get down some words. Right? Or is it unlikely that anybody’s day runs that smoothly? Are breaks that easy to take?
Late afternoon/early evening
Okay, so this might be it. Write when you finish work/school. Write while you’re cooking tea. Write when you’ve finished tea, and there’s still a couple of hours before bed. Or are you too tired by then? You might have children to feed and bath and read to. You might have to prepare meals and clothes for the following day. Perhaps down time doesn’t come until it’s time to go to sleep.
During the night
There are writers who swear by night time writing. The world goes quiet, leaving the mind free to dream, and the thoughts fluid and expressive. You can stay up later and later, until all your words are out. Of course, this doesn’t work for those who are tired, asleep, night working, looking after a baby…. it is also recommended that you get good sleep to keep your mind healthy, so maybe during the night isn’t the right either.
There is no perfect time. Everybody’s lives are different, people function best at various times, and no two days are the same. As with there being no perfect writing environment, it seems there is no perfect time to write either. You must simply write when you can. Write in every spare moment, whenever it presents itself, even if you have to jot it down on paper upon waking in the middle of the night.
Some final thoughts…
The pros of habit
Habit breeds habit. Choosing a time that works for you, and sticking to it, will have many benefits. Most of all, you will see consistent progress. I am a big pro of forming habits and sticking to them, but your habit can be as specific as always writing in the morning, or as loose as writing a little every day.
The cons of waiting for your ‘perfect time’
I have been guilty of deciding that because my perfect time is morning, I should save my writing until morning. But some mornings I wrote nothing, and rather than write in the evening I’d wait until the following morning. What I’ve been doing over the last couple of months is just writing in every spare moment I get. Every scrap of time, be it a 5 minute lunch break, a moment before bed, a free morning…it has worked. As always, when you stop aiming for perfection, things start making sense.
Do you have a perfect writing time? Or do you benefit from writing whenever you can? What works best for you? I always love hearing your thoughts and processes, so please drop a line below.