Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Finding Your Best Time to Work

Okay, so I kicked my own ass yesterday and got the final three pages of notes taken care of.  Then I emailed the book to my Kindle again.  This morning I opened it up and read a little bit.  


And I have officially entered the 'this is dreck and I hate it' phase of book editing.  I may end up doing a total rewrite of the beginning.  Again.  Or I might see how it looks later after I've had more coffee and a few more cigarettes... Maybe lunch... and a nap.  First thing in the morning is never a good time for me to judge my own work.

That's an important thing to realize about yourself and your own writing, you know.  When is the best time to be objective about your work?  

Personally, in order to be as objective as possible, I don't go through a first draft until I've had enough time to sort of forget what I wrote.  (Not hard for me, with my memory.)  Time brings distance.  Two weeks is usually a good amount of time for me.  With this book, I didn't wait the two weeks because it had been so long since I wrote the beginning, I had distance from it.  This is something I've learned about myself and my writing.

Like I said, I don't function well in the morning.  At least not the creative part of my brain.  Editing or writing first thing is out - even if I'm under deadline.  Why put myself through that and potentially make things worse?  

Being aware of when you work best is key.  If you've been around here long enough, you've seen me talk about the fact that I write at night.  I started doing it when I was homeschooling and the only time I had to write was after dinner when the school day was done and the house was quiet again.  And it stuck, so even years after Owl was grown and moved away, I write at night.  I do other things during the day - edits are okay, marketing is fine, business stuff during the day is best.  New words?  After dinner only.  In a pinch, I can write new words in the afternoon.  It's my process and it works for me.  

The point is doing what works for you.  Regardless of what anyone else says about their process.  This is my process.  Find your process and work it.

When is your best time to write?  Do you give yourself time between writing the book and editing it?  If you're not a writer, what time of day do you do your best work?


  1. I work when I work. Which sounds weird but I totally get what you're saying. I'm not really a morning person either, even though I'm usually awake before sun-up. I let the dogs out, feed the cat, make coffee, feed the feral cats, let the dogs in and treat them, fix my first cup. Then I check email, my blog for comments, my Amazon sales (or lack thereof), FB, the blog roll, where I click on the blogs I'm going to comment on. It's now time for a second cup, and the dogs usually want out again. More coffee, more dogs. Now I go to the other browser because I get reward points (Hey! I used those points for Christmas last year! Everyone got a present when it looked like no one would!!!), and then I do the daily jigsaw from from homepage background pic, and the sliding tile game with the same. If I'm strong, I ignore the number game that I'm addicted to.

    That's my morning. Or part of it. At that point, I'm usually semi-alert, my eyes are focusing, and I can open Scrivener to where I left off the day before. And I stare. A lot. If I'm lucky, inspiration hits and the words flow. If I'm not, I hunt and peck and force words out. As we all agree, can't fix a blank page!

    Sadly, I often get hit with OMG!s about the time I should be thinking about dinner--planning/fixing/etc. Luckily, LG often naps about this same time so if dinner is late, no biggie.

    Interestingly, I used to write late at night, after everyone else was in bed. Not because it was quiet or anything, but because that's when my brain started firing on all cylinders. I could sleep during the day so I'd often write until well after midnight into the wee hours of the monring. Sadly, no more. My brain rewired itself. Ah well. Adjustments. Right?

    And on that note, time to go grab those reward points before opening the ol' WIP to stare at it. Later, tater!

  2. I work best in the afternoon, and when I'm really on a roll I'll work into the evening.

    My rolling days seem to be over, though, but sometimes I find the gumption to work for a while at night.