Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Writing Biorhythms

Do you have a time when your brain is better suited for writing?

I know I do. As a professional writer, I've trained myself to write any time, any where. However, the fact remains: I write better during daylight hours, preferably between 9:00 AM and noon.

Yesterday, I took Mason to the beach for three hours. We played and played and I thought for certain he'd be tired by the end of the day after all that healthy sunshine and exercise. He did get to bed at a reasonable hour, but then guess what? I was tired too! I did get a bit of writing done after hours, but I have to tell you, writing at night, for me, is just plain HARD. I can do it, but it's not "natural" for me, you know?

Strangely, I think I got in the habit of writing during the day when I had a regular job. I was the world's worst employee. I tell my friends in business: "Never hire me." Because I'm the consummate slacker. I get only enough done not to get fired, and I spend the rest of the time stealing your office supplies and writing my novel on company time. I wrote five novels while "working" full-time that way. Bad. And, like I said, the 9 to 5 mentality still infuses my writing brain. My brain thinks: office hours = writing hours. After hours = play and sleep. Now, with child at home, that's reversed.

It's hard to retrain the brain, though it can be done. I've now written nearly as many novels at home with small child as I did with a regular job. Many a midnight oil has been burned. But... I still don't like it. Even after years of writing this way (although now, only during summer,) it's still a bit like pulling teeth.

So how about you? All things being equal, when do you write best?


Anonymous said...

All things being equal, I write best at night. And I do mean NIGHT, like 10 PM would be an early writing time for me. That has mostly to do with the fact that by 11 PM or so, my house was finally QUIET enough to concentrate. So I'm wired to write in the DEAD of night.

Frank said...

Not a writer, but I've long since found that, for creative stuff, first thing in the morning works best. Discovered this back when I was working in the graphic arts biz--design or illustration in the morning, straight paste-up after lunch.

Now that I'm a potter, I still do my best work first thing in the morning, though I can sometimes get a second wind in the evening, after things cool down a little.

Afternoons are only good for reading, catching up on e-mail, and surfing your blog...