I’m quickly discovering, regardless of all good intention, mornings are not the best time for creativity inside this brain of mine. I can do endless research, gather information, type out blog post after blog post, noodle around on other people’s blogs and social networks, but to crack open a WIP shuts the productivity down.
Plenty of people say the direct opposite. They write first thing in the morning, before all the “static” of the day gets in their head and muddles up their creativity. Not so, for me. Not for these past many years.
When I first began writing, over a decade ago, it was an all day adventure. I could fire up the computer at dawn and get right into it. But then, when I was really new to all of this, I didn’t have any sort of direction and I seriously had no idea what I was doing. I can admit that. No harm in accepting that it took all these years of practice to be any good at my craft.
As I adapted and learnt more about writing, so too did I learn about plotting and exploring characters. To do that most effectively, I think about them. A lot. A real lot.
This means the morning and throughout the day is usually reserved for contemplating my work and building up to a point where I will let the words come out. Even if I force myself to write creatively in the morning, it doesn’t have the same cohesive flow as what I put down in the afternoon-evening sessions. I need to get warmed up, or as I always say, the ideas need to percolate. If I try and pour them out in the morning, they’re weak and under-done. Later in the day, they’ve been stewing and building flavour and end up that much easier to release onto the page.
So I will adapt and embrace my limitations. My other duties can be tended in the mornings, leaving me free of obligation in the evening, when writing becomes priority number one!
12 thoughts on “The right time for writing”
One sympathizes. My brain works best in the evening- often the later the better.
I usually try to do something hands on first thing in the morning, and in the afternoon I will do as much research/pre-writing as I can.
When the sun goes down, I take off the gloves.
I try to catch up on research and other online duties plus household-y chores through the morning, then I have a part time job which takes me out of the house for a few hours in the afternoon/evening. After that, it’s dinner (while I do a once-over of the internet), and then I try and get my write on. XD I have honestly written some of my best stuff after midnight, too.
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Nicely said. I love to write too, and I think I feel the same way… but perhaps I should give the morning a try, and see if I feel the same way about my brain being muddled.
Some days it works differently! I’ve still had the odd morning of excellent writing, so there’s no hard and fast rule. Give it a try and see what happens. 😀
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I’m so glad you’ve found your writing time! It’s so interesting — I used to be a write in the morning person, but these days I am the same way as you. I attribute mine, however, to social media — as evidenced by the fact that I’m leaving this post at 6 a.m. Also, my schedule changes with my kids’ schedules over the years. I would love to get back into the morning-before-I-do-anything-writing routine, though.
I prefer feeling sociable in the mornings, so that probably contributes! In the evening, it’s not like I mind talking to my internet buddies (here I am, nearly 8pm, and glad to see you all!), but I’m definitely a bit more worn out from the day’s worth of people-interaction already. Makes diving into the hermit’s life of writing almost relieving for me. XD
Finding the right time is so helpful! I’ve also found that the time changes for me at irregular intervals. Right now, I’m more in a writing in the morning phase. For a while, I was very much a writing in the afternoon phase. When I was a teen, I used to write late into the night.
But you know me, I’m all for experimenting. 😀 When I feel myself getting stuck at all, writing at different times is one way to help shake things up.
You HAVE to go with whatever is right at the time! I am a firm believer that difference scenes require different frames of mind to write, and that correlates directly with location, time, and external influence (music/sound, atmosphere, etc). We can adapt as much as possible to suit those feelings and needs, and work with them!
That’s awesome that you’ve found your best time for writing productivity. I’m still trying to discover when mine is. I prefer to ‘socialize’ in the morning too—like you & Julia. I’m up before the birds, and so, I always thought that should be the perfect time to write, but my mind just isn’t “there” yet. *Unless* I just woke up from a dream and am still half in a state of sleep… sometimes then my best creativity flows onto the page (don’t you wish we could capture the essence of those times in a bottle and take it out & use it when we need it?). But practically speaking, mornings haven’t worked for me. I started Julia Cameron’s ‘morning pages’ to see if that would help unblock that time, but… not so much. As you said, it’s important to allow the ideas percolate, and I need to be more awake for that. Adapt and embrace… I love that and will keep it in mind. Nice post. You made me think. 🙂
Btw, sorry I haven’t been around much. I’m going through a writing/blogging/commenting drought.
If we could bottle that sleepy-creativity ultimate combination, we would rule the world. 😉 I’m curious if I can do semi-related tasks in the morning, like worldbuilding or plot outlines. They are creative in a different way, certainly for me in a more logical way. I’m going to try it out sometime!
Don’t worry about going quiet for a while, as long as everything is okay! 🙂
Due to a demanding day job–and the fact that I’m not an early morning person on the weekends–my writing can only be done in the evening. Although I sometimes find myself still writing at 2 a.m., so perhaps that counts as a morning muse?
Still, I’m envious of those who get up in the wee hours to write. I wish my body–and brain–would comply that way.
Wouldn’t it be awesome to just flip the writing switch on as soon as you get out of bed? That would be something!
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