Wednesday, 30 December 2015

The Right Time To Write

Is there an ideal time of day for writing and getting the best results?

Writers are always being advised about when the best time is to write, be that first thing in the morning, carrying a note book around and writing whenever the mood takes or having set of hours to fit in with the rest of our lives. And, let's face it, we do have lives, busy ones, that can really get in the way of our writing.

But so many writers have successfully written works of art while holding down a full time job or two and or having a family to raise.

It's not to say that I don't get down to my writing but, when I do, I often get distracted and the writing session doesn't seem to flow, especially if ideas aren't coming easily. I get restless and start wondering if so and so returned my email; asking myself if I spent enough time on social media; what should I cook for dinner; will I ever hear back from that publisher, and so on.

I've tried various methods to try to improve my productivity. For a while I used the Pomodoro method. It worked well but it didn't stop me checking emails during the 'break' period.

I know a lot of you will say that it all comes down to will power, how passionate you are about what you're writing and how seriously you take it. If you know me, you'll know how seriously I take my writing but I seem to be seriously running out of steam.

So what is the best time for me to write and be at my most creative and productive?

THE ANSWER:  No surprises when I say it varies from person to person, right? And that's exactly what I had to get my head around after several painstaking hours of mental torment, anguish, panic and checking of emails. I have decided to log all my writing sessions. I'll look at how long I spent writing, how happy I was with the results and how many times I got distracted. I will also log, where I was when I was writing and how I felt, emotionally.

After a period of time I will look at my log and try to determine whether or not there is an optimum time for me to write or, if I'm just one of these people who has to go with the flow and write until I become distracted and want to do something else.

But most of all - I'm not going to panic anymore. I sat and wrote this without becoming distracted once.


  1. Hi Fran

    I think it depends on how much you have going on around you that can distract you and whether or not you have a deadline. I can sit down for hours for work, but when it comes to writing, the washing, ironing etc becomes difficult to ignore. The only way to do it is to say to yourself that this is more important than anything else, tell the kids and the husband not to disturb you unless the house is on fire or if one of them is dying and give yourself permission not to be interrupted.

  2. That's really sound advice. I never put up the 'Do Not Disturb' notice. Probably because I feel guilty that I want to do something for myself. Something I will definitely change going in to 2016. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Hi Fran,
    I feel your pain! Logging my time never worked for me because I'd forget to document the start or end of my writing session. The only way I force myself to stick with the writing and let everything else slide, is to treat my writing session like a job. If I am on deadline for someone else I am compelled to keep going so as not to disappoint my client and in order to get paid. When I'm working on my writing I'm the client and I treat my work the same as I would that of an important well=paying client. I take a block of time, be it during business hours or just hours I have specifically set aside to write, I am not available to, or for, anything else - just like being at work. It takes practice and time to master this mindset, but once you do, uninterrupted time to write is all yours. Happy writing!

  4. Hi Donna
    I already failed miserably in tracking my productivity after today's writing session. I understand completely the idea of treating my own work as if it were a job. It's a good opportunity to make a start as I don't have any 'real' paid work at the moment. Thanks so much for that. I'm sure it can work for me!