Sunday, September 19, 2021

A time to write

"A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper." -- E.B. White

I switched up my writing schedule this morning. 

Instead of getting out of bed before sunrise and going to my desk to write, I got dressed and went for a walk and gazed at the early morning stars instead. 

It was the first time in more than a year that I’d decided to begin my day with a walk instead of with thirty minutes of free-writing. 

It felt like I was taking a break—a mini-vacation, of sorts—not writing immediately after waking.

Both choices—writing after getting up and writing later in the day—have benefits. 

When you sit down to write immediately after getting out of bed, you don’t ask yourself if you need to write or if you want to write. You just sit down at your desk and start writing to see what comes. 

There’s no, or little, resistance, except for a strong desire on some mornings to go back to sleep.

Waiting to write until later in the morning, after a walk, for instance, or waiting until after you finish breakfast, you can come up with all sorts of (lame) excuses for not writing and for avoiding the moment when you need to sit down at your desk to begin. 

Resistance is stronger. So is the voice in your head saying you can’t do this, or asking why you are doing this, or else you realize you have nothing to say so why bother even picking up a pen and opening your journal?

Plus there are many more distractions later in the morning—outside noises like garbage trucks, lawn mowers, leaf blowers. 

Inside noises, too, like voices in the next room, the ring of the telephone, and unexpected knocks on your office door.

Every writer needs to find the time that’s best for him or her to write during the day (or night). 

Some writers prefer early morning before anyone else is awake. 

Others prefer writing after everyone has gone to sleep at night. 

Still other writers enjoy writing amidst all the noise and commotion of a life—midday distractions and all.

What’s your favorite time to write? Why?

For more on finding the best time of day to write, visit:

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