When & Where do you Write?

When & Where do you Write?

 

Write.

The more I read and talk to other writers, the more I realize the answer to these two questions can be as diverse as the writer.

There are no set rules, no hidden formula to a productive writing time. Each author has their own recipe for success. And even then, it’s not written in stone.

I know some writers who insist early in the morning is the best time for them; they’ve had a good night’s sleep and are fresh to face that blank piece of paper/screen.

Others do best later in the day, when all their chores and responsibilities are out of the way, and the family is off doing their daily routine (school, work, etc.).

Then there are the night owls. They insist  they do their best work late at night when there are no distractions and they can concentrate on their work in progress.

 

Writer.

Personally, I’m all over the place. There are so many factors that can affect when I write. If I’m in my creative stage, late at night is my time. I collect all the thoughts that have been spinning around in my head during the day and put them into a solid idea and expand on it.

If I’m at my editing stage, or trying to work through a weak spot or solve a problem I’ve created, then morning is best. My mind is clear and I can focus. But it needs to be earlier while I have the house to myself.

Research and planning are best for the middle of the afternoon. I can sit at my desk and distractions don’t seem to bother me. It’s easy to break away from the work in front of me to watch the birds outside my window or talk to my hubby when he comes out to ask me a question.

 Of course these are not set rules. As every writer knows, when the idea for your storyline is new, there is an excitement that goes along with it. There is a hunger to get the ideas down as fast as possible so  you don’t lose them. You may find yourself shutting yourself in your office, blocking out everything else, for hours at a time. Eventually the newness of the idea becomes a solid outline, and then a rough draft. This is when you begin your writing routine.

Does part of this routine include a designated location where you work from?

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Mine is where-ever. That’s it; where-ever. I do a lot of dictations and as long as I have my phone with me, I’m good to go. Some of my most productive time is at lunch when I’m in my car, sitting along the river. No distractions, no interruption-just writing time (in between bites of my lunch). Having a laptop allows me to take my WIP where I want; be it under the oak tree in the front yard, by the pool or sitting by the hubby on the couch (ear plugs needed for this one since the TV is on). Serious editing needs to be done at my desk. I seem to do better in a more professional setting for the editing stage.

Every writer has to find what works for them. It may take a few books before you find your rhythm. But I think  mixing it up every once in a while, also stirs the creative juices and keeps you from becoming stagnate.

So move around, find your sweet spot, find your creative and productive times, and get to work on your next project.

Pile It On

Is it just me, or does it seem like life is crazy?

We all say there aren’t enough hours in the day, but do we really do anything to less than our daily schedule? I don’t think so. I think we try to pile on more and more. We are trying to be the super person who can get it all done-and with smile on our face.

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We’ve become so overwhelmed with wants and demands in our life, we forget how to simplify things and only deal with our needs. That’s all well and fine to say, but the reality is the American lifestyle demands we go at full trot, resting only when necessary. Whoever coined the phrase 24/7 was setting us up for an exhausting lifestyle.

And I’m as bad as the next person! I just signed up for NaNo camp in April. Am I crazy? I can barely find the time to do my regular work, let alone try to fit in a 50,000-word book on the sidelines. But I’ve been successful at previous camps, now I’ll to do it because I’ve proven to myself it can be done.

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This time, I will go about it a bit differently. With 30 days to prepare, that’s exactly what I will do. I have the outline for the book I had planned on doing it this summer. I’ll move up my timetable so I need not prepare a project for camp. In the meantime, all the little tasks that take extra time, when I could be writing, will be accomplished. The desk will be cleared off, spring cleaning done, and meals made ahead of time-frozen so my hubby won’t go hungry.

Now is the time to concentrate on managing my time. As my husband says; “plan- don’t react” and I’m convinced that’s a good start. Of course, things will come up that I can’t control. But if the nitty-gritty stuff is done and out of the way beforehand, it might not feel so overwhelming.
So, here’s to all the authors who are doing camp this year! Your deadlines are in front of you, be it for writing, or work, or family. Plan ahead, but don’t over react when things don’t go the way you planned. Don’t forget to take time for yourself. It’s okay sleep in an extra hour on a Saturday or take an extra-long shower. Go ahead and sit out on the patio with friends, enjoying a glass of wine and good conversation.

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Because that’s what we’re here for; to enjoy life, not just work life.

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