4am? 7 pm? Is it late in the evening? Could it be on Blue Moon Tuesdays?
Since we, writers/writer-parents have to change our writing routine pretty often depending on what the kids are up to, I went into research mode to find out if such a thing as THE Best Time to Write existed.
Early birds, night owls, happy badgers, drum roll. The winner is…
Following the writing curb
Either if you work full-time or part-time, or recently find yourself without a job (I hope you’ll be able to find something else soon).
Either you’re a stay-at-home parent or a happily retired person, writing (and finishing!) a novel is a challenge.
To tackle the writing a novel challenge, many methods have been put out there, tested, discussed through and through.
But do you really have to wake up at 4 am, like many published authors claim they do, or write during the night to finish a novel?
Well, it depends on one thing.
Night Owls, Early Birds, Happy Badgers: we all have it
Us human, we’re all have it (when we’re lucky enough to be safe, healthy, to have a house instead of a refugee tent, to be able to eat and to sleep when we need to).
An internal clock. The thing that makes you wake up at 4:23 am every morning, or that thing telling you it’s time to party at 11pm.
During the course of 24 hours, some of us are more productive around 5am, others after 9 pm. For writers, it’s so great to be able to take advantage of their most productive time of the day.
We feel more productive, the motivation is there. We’re awake. And if we’re lucky, words flow like a happy singing river.
One thing is sure, forcing ourselves to be morning people when we’re not, or the reverse, is not the solution.
I used to feel guilty if I started my morning writing session at 5:30am and not at 4am. So many writers wake up that early in order to find peace and quiet to write.
Parents know this: peace and quiet are a bit hard to find with young kiddos around!
I would force myself to wake up at 4 am and two weeks later, be an exhausted, cranky, impatient person all day long, crashing at 7pm and feeling even more like a failed aspiring author.
« First, says journalist Amanda Ruggeri in her article Why you shouldn’t try to be a morning person, not all high achievers are early risers, and not all early risers are successful. (Famous late risers include Box CEO Aaron Levie and Buzzfeed CEO Jonah Peretti, plus creatives like James Joyce, Gertrude Stein and Gustave Flaubert). »
Not only that article help me free myself from the « if you’re not getting up early, you’ll never succeed » guilt, it also reminded me that at the writers comparison games, no one wins.
Productivity Peak Meets Reality
If, like yours truly, you’re an aspiring author or a writer, freelance or not, being able to know when you’re at your most productive is a great way to create an efficient writing routine. In my humble opinion, of course !
It’s hard sometimes to really pinpoint the best spot on our daily productivity curb because Heck!, we all have so much to do during those 24 hours!
Plus, how settled things change fast when you have youngsters in the house! Even if we might be at our best at 7am, it so happens that’s exactly when the kids wake up, or it might be time to rush out the door to beat the traffic (never happens, I know).
Basically, I’m a morning person. Not your typical happy, energic, ready to rrrumble morning person. More like « leave me alone with the stories in my head until the second mug of tea » person.
Still, I like the quiet, the dark before the soft light of dawn starts to make everything peaceful, for a very short while.
From 4 am to 7 am, I’m at my most productive, yes… when I can A) wake up B) be alone.
Now, I consider myself lucky when I can write during those blissful hours once or twice a month.
The rest of the time, there’s only one thing I can do: stick to my ever evolving writing routine.
The best time for writing is… the time who schedule and stick to !
It’s the ultimate to finish a writing project.
Create a writing routine, stick to it and buckle up for the ride!
Thank you oh so very much for reading this. I hope this post helped you somehow.
May all the good words be with you, dear fellow writers !