Writers-when do you write?

So I’m trying to get back in the swing with writing, but it’s been a few years since I’ve actually sat down and done some serious scribbling. That was in college, when I could stay up late without dying and had big chunks of time free during the day. Suffice it to say that I no longer have those luxuries.

I’m thinking that making myself write for a solid 2 hours a day will be a good start, but I’m having trouble finding a time that’s compatible with my body’s unnatural desire for 8 good hours of sleep.

So how about you guys? What times of day do you write? Morning, late night? I’m hoping perhaps some suggestions will help me get around this sinking idea I have that I’m going to have to shave those 8 hours down to 5.

I bring a steno pad with me on the train and sometimes write there…but mostly I write at night while my husband is at rehearsal. I put in CDs that I haven’t listened to in a long time as a way to spur my imagination and just sit at the computer for hours.



At work. I write news for a living.

Pretty much whenever I get a mojo. There’s no predicting it or scheduling it.

I’m with Barbarian; I show up for work and write. Mornings are best for me, though I’m not really a morning person. Perhaps it is the caffiene, but in the a.m. similies seep from my fingers like the dew sliding across a spiderweb; muscular adverbs leap effortlessly into my prose.

Often I lie down til the feeling passes. :smiley:

If I had to write for fun, I don’t know when I’d find the time. I usually do my freelance reviews at work (shhh).

All the time. I go through my day doing stuff, some of it mindless. I write when I drive or when I jog. I go over it in my head, I’ll literally narrate it out, thiniking of word choice and structure. I’ll rehash it and rework it a couple of times. Later at night, I’ll put it on paper. The actual writing is mere mechanics, all the actual creative work is already done in my head.

Most productive times for writing (according to THespos):

  1. Right after waking up, before showering, while still in underwear

  2. During lunch at work

  3. At 2AM

Various times and not nearly often enough. I get the urge to write at bedtime, which isn’t healthy or helpful. I often forego writing in order to sleep, but lay awake hours writing in my head when I should be sleeping…

If you haven’t read them already, I highly recommend the books “Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within” and “Wild Mind: Living the Writer’s Life” both by Natalie Goldberg. They’re great books IMHO for getting your hand moving whenever you find a few free minutes to dedicate to the writer’s craft.

Either in class or at work or when I should be asleep.

This summer I worked from 7 am to 3 pm. During that time I wrote papers for classes and other freelance stuff you can see (if you really really want to) if you go to my webpage.

I also wrote stuff during class, most of which had nothing to do with that class. It kept me awake.

And the work I couldn’t do during school or at work I did at night.

Now I’m back to being able to sleep during the day (mostly) so I can stay up until, for example, 2:30. And write. This is what I did in high school and how I passed several classes in college.

So basically I write when it’s convenient to me. And since I got nothing lower than a B in the classes where I wrote instead of listening, I figure I did okay:)

Usually in class during a lull in activity (though sometimes right in the MIDDLE of activity) and late late late at night. Those are usually when I get my best ideas.

I completely agree with number 1. Maybe it’s because I have fewer inhibitions while in a somnolent state. Perhaps I’m too cranky to do anything else properly. Maybe it’s just that I’m still in neutral because I havne’t committed myself to the day yet. Whatever–seems to work for me.

I usually write late at night, just about that I time I know I should be going to sleep so I can be up to get ready for work the next day. (And considering I don’t go to work until 3 p.m., that’s pretty late!)

Then of course, there’s the times I wake up after having gone to bed with a flash of inspiration and I simply must write it down or risk forgetting it.

When I was still in school, I would get all my best ideas in the morning and I’d have to keep repeating them in my head until I could get on the bus, sit down and try to scrawl my beautiful ideas in a rattling vehicle.

In math class. Definitly the best time, I mean, it’s not like I’m learning anything.

Or at night. Really late at night. When you’ve been peacefully asleep and then suddenly wake up with an itch at the back of your mind and you just can’t get back to sleep unless you take up a pen and write something, anything, on paper.

The classic times – at night and on weekends. Although now that our four year old MilliCal is with us, that time is reduced – it has to be evenings after 8:30 and weekend evenings.

Mostly when I have an idea. When I do have an idea, whether it’s for my notebook journal or a short story, I normally write when I have free time at home. With stories, I must write at home at my desk with either the radio or a CD in at night because everyone is asleep and I won’t be disturbed. With my journal, I can write wherever and whenever.

I always carry a notebook to write in. I’ve done some of my best stories during boring classes. I also have a habit of writing on whatever’s lying around – one of my best short stories was written on a couple of brown paper napkins, which figured prominently in the story.

Of course, I also frequently write in the middle of the night, after a long day at work, under the influence of caffeine and various medications, so I end up with specimens like the piece currently on my web page.

Way way way late at night is when I write. That way, I forget what I wrote, and get surprised about how good/bad it is in the morning.

I like surprises.

Best time for me is first thing in the morning. I’m freshest then, and I’m motivated enough to stop long enough to brew a pot of coffee and get to work.

When I was living single for awhile (during a long move to our current home), I would work until I got hungry, eat lunch, then go off and do other things until it was time to go to work. I work second shift, getting off between midnight-1 am, and I’m too tired for serious thinking.

Lately, I’ve been posting a writing diary on my Web site, and have had difficulty keeping up with it. There have been some late-night writing sessions, and I’ve found that, being motivated to get the Damn Thing Done, I write just about as well as otherwise. If you’re serious about writing, you’ll find that, short of being drunk or asleep, you’re capable of writing something.

That’s the difference between the hobbyist and the professional.

One more thought I forgot to add . . . now that my family’s with me, I have to write whenever I can. Sometimes it’s in the morning, sometimes the afternoon. If I know I have 45 minutes to knock out something between lunchtime and an appointment for the dentist, I sit down and do the job. And if I’m really motivated, I’ll use my dinner hour at work to get more done (when I’m not posting that is).

Whenever it’s quiet. This usually means the wee hours of the morning, or scribbling in my notebook when I’m wandering around by myself. Some of my best ideas come when I’m walking. Sadly, however, walking isn’t all that amenable to the physical act of writing, and I’m not comfortable narrating into microcassette recorders.

Feh, maybe that’s why I haven’t written anything besides website updates for the past year…