Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Early Bird or Night Owl: When is Your Best Time to Write?

"Writing is utter solitude, the descent into the cold abyss of oneself."  Franz Kafka

When do you find that time for utter solitude so you can--enjoy the escape into the creativity of your imagination?  (That sounds a little more positive than "the cold abyss of oneself.")

I'm not a night owl, but I wish I were!  After 11:00 pm the phone is guaranteed not to ring (unless there's a family emergency or a wrong number from some night owl you don't know).  Since the kids and the husband don't need anything at that time, you' re home free to write.  There's an occasional occurrence of middle of the night vomiting from one of the kids, but that's usually not more than once a year, if at all.

I'm an early bird by nature.  On school days I'm up at 4:30, but my morning hours are taken up by other things.  By 9:00, I've worked out, gone running, fixed breakfast, lunches, taken the kids to school, and started prepping dinner.  By 10:00, I try to start writing, but on those days when hubby works on something from home, the four hours I have from 10:00 to 2:00 shrink down to about one, as far as writing goes.

Common Husband Interruptions:

  • "I've got something that needs to go to the post office."  Translation: "I need you to take this to the post office."
  • "This is a deposit."  Translation:  "I need you to go to the bank and deposit this."
  • "Is there anything I can eat?"  Translation:  "Would you fix me lunch?"
  • "Mind if I sit with you?"  I usually work at the kitchen table.  He'll ask this when he eats lunch, but it actually translates to: "I know you're busy writing, but I'd really like to talk to you."
  • "So when is your book going to be done?"  Translation:  "When will your writing earn some money?"

"NEVER, at this rate!" is what I'd like to respond to that last query.  But instead I say, "As long as I have some uninterrupted peace and quiet, it'll be sooner, rather than later."

By 2:00 it's time to get the kids, then homework, dinner, kitchen cleanup, and by 7:00, I'm dragging.  By 9:00 or 9:30, I'm usually in bed so I can get up and do it all over again.

If I just didn't have to sleep, I could write so much more!

What about you?  When is your most productive writing time?

Tweet me @maria_mckenzie.  Thanks for stopping by!

4 comments:

PK Hrezo said...

Oh, I know! It's hard to justify writing when right now it's only a hobbie. My hubby doesn't see it as anything serious right now.
I definitely write better in the morning. The wee hours of the day my mind has not been corrupted with other thoughts. I sit down before anyone else is up and focus on the story. Just seems to flow better.
By night when kids are in bed, I'm mentally exhausted.

Maria McKenzie said...

You are right on! In those early morning hours, our minds haven't been "corrupted with other thoughts." Love how you put that!

Marissa Farrar said...

OMG! I can't belive you get up at 4.30 am. That is the middle of the night!
I am the total opposite. I am terrible in the morning - its all I can do to get the kids fed and dressed! Evenings are my writing time, when the kids are back in bed, the chores are done, and I can finally focus!

Maria McKenzie said...

Marissa, I can't believe I get up that early myself! I envy you. I wish I could stay up late!