Morning, Noon and Night

Morning, Noon or Night
Early morning, noon, or night?
When is your favorite time to write?
I hesitate to start this entry with rhyme, particularly since we have some real poets among those who contribute to The Kill Zone. But I thought it would be a good way to get your attention, which is what this is all about, anyway. So…

Keep in mind that the query is presented with the understanding that one can write anytime, anywhere. You don’t have to go to the local coffee shop and commandeer a booth, although it looks cool as all get out. Inspiration comes and goes at any and all hours. I was in New Orleans last year when my computer cra…er…passed a sand castle and died. I wrote a couple of chapters of a work in progress using the Swype feature on my droid phone. It wasn’t pretty, but the job got down. And I wrote while riding on a streetcar in the morning, waiting for dinner with a frosty bottle of Barq’s Root Beer, and in the afternoon during a part of a seminar when my attention span was MIA. I’ve seen others do it too, of course. I was leaving John Ramsey Miller’s home after a delightful evening when he and his lovely wife Susan hosted my family and as I pulled down the driveway I spied John at his desk, typing madly away at 10:00 PM.
But…the question is: when is your favoritetime to write? Mine, since I asked, is early morning. I get up before everyone else, feed the cat (as he does figure-eights around my calves, crying, I ask him: “It’s a real bear, not having opposable thumbs or a soft palate, isn’t it?” and he agrees) and the guinea pigs who whistle like tea kettles until the food is served up. By then the Keurig has done its thing and I am set to go to work in the grammar mine. There are no interruptions, the slate is clear, and the word stream has the effect of pushing the nightmares away. For a while, anyway.
So when is your favorite, or most productive, time to write? And if you are a reader and not a writer, when is your best time to read? 

19 thoughts on “Morning, Noon and Night

  1. I prefer to read during the day, I’m just more likely to find a comfortable position with good writing that way.

    As for writing, night time is always best for me. Once I push past drowsiness, I can be more productive at midnight than I was after dinner.

  2. Interesting, Bonnie. We should collaborate. One of us would be writing at all hours. We’d have a book done in no time! 🙂

    There ya go, Paula. I have a coffee cup cemented into my right hand. Makes it tough to type though. Especially when full.

  3. Hey Joe. Good morning. Haven’t fired up my Cuisinart coffee thingee yet. My dogs are still sleeping, but my cats are always vigilant, like Chuck Norris.

    My favorite time to read is before I go to bed. It helps me switch off my brain and relax in a world someone else created.

    As for writing, I do better in the a.m. I enjoy getting up before my husband does, brew coffee, & give the pooches lavish treats before I head to my office to work for a few hours before breakfast. I work until 3-5pm before taxing my culinary skills for dinner.

    A strange thing though. If I run errands or disrupt my morning writing hours, it’s harder for me to jumpstart my writer brain to switch gears to the afternoon. Not impossible, but weird, right? If I can’t stir my writer brain, I focus on promo catch up stuff, draft a blog post or work on a short story.

  4. Good question! I started writing a couple of years ago and have heard since then that I should set a specific time every day to write. That is supposed to be the “proper” way to go about becoming a better writer.

    I have yet to find that specific time in my schedule. However, at this point of my writing “career”, I usually write when the spirit moves me. I can be anywhere, laundromat, bathroom, in bed and I hope up with the idea. I am an early riser but I find that most often, when I am not writing due to a stroke of inspiration but working on a story, I write in the early evening after my work day is over and I am at home alone. During my day I am constantly thinking about writing and at the end of the day, I try to put those thoughts to paper.

  5. I’m with you, Joe. Early morning, still dark, coffee hot. I take down what the “boys in the basement” have been working on all night. Then I try to get my “nifty 350” out as quickly as possible. That’s my kick start toward my quota. If I do it, the writing day goes much more smoothly.

    I find the two hours between 2 and 4 my “zombie time.” Can’t really produce good work. I try to catch a power nap (20 minutes) and, if I do, can get some more work done in the evening.

    I do try to snatch time for writing as the day goes along.

  6. Night. My mornings are so busy that I don’t have the time to write, I might find the time to read what I wrote the night before, but I enjoy writing after dark, the family is in bed and I sit at the computer. Plus, through the day I plot out what I’m going to work on…brainstorming and the like.

  7. Early mornings. I write at other times of the day because I don’t have a choice, but mornings are best.

    Even on Saturdays, when I have to jam in everything I didn’t have time to do during the week, I try to arrange my day so that morning goes for writing. I’m fresh and the words flow better, and I feel a sense of accomplishment for the day if I finish that morning’s word count.

  8. Still working on getting that perfect schedule put together. I have a new freelance gig that requires about 2K words a week and I’m angling for another one that will be about 3K per week. That is going to require more discipline and internet-avoidance skills than I have now. But the two combined may allow me the chance to chuck one of my day jobs and give me back some flexibility.

    I tend to do best at night when I feel like the world has gone to sleep. When my brain is a little tired, my day’s nervous energy is spent, and the “should be doing” defenses are down, the words come a little easier.

    If it’s day, my giant lime green mug is full of strong black tea. It it’s night, that same mug hosts decaf green tea.


  9. my husband threatens to tape a picture of me to the cover of my latest book, as it’s ALWAYS with me. if i have to sit in the parking lot of home depot, while he does whatever boys do in those stores [the reason eludes me], i am reading. but my favorite time is early am, when the world is just waking up…..or late at night. i have loved retirement as i can read until the wee ones with no guilt. thank all of you authors who write in those hours also…for providing me such lovely times spent in those tales.

  10. Each and all of you have no idea of how fascinating this is to me. Thank you. I do envy folks like Basil, who are at the top of their game whenever the opportunity strikes.

    Kathi D., I spend so much time on the laptop that my wife accuses me of having a mistress named dot com.

    Terri, there is no such thing as a perfect schedule. Life gets in the way. And the law is a jealous lover. Hang in there.

    John M., you’re another one who is always on. Modesty precludes you from saying so.

    BK, James, and Jordan (good evening, Jordan!), I’ll see you in the early morning grammar mines. I just started drinking Emeril’s coffee, btw. Great stuff.

    Charles, I’m with you on the dark thing. My home office doesn’t have a window so I can’t tell when it turns light outside. BTW, have you seen the movie “30 Days of Night”? Check it out.

    Hebxii…welcome! The proper way is whatever gets it done. If you’re writing every day you’re doing it the proper way. Good luck!

    Thanks everyone!

  11. Early morning. When I was young, I used to get up to do my homework at 4:30 a.m., because it was the only time the house was quiet. That’s still my most productive time–probably the early habit set my biorhythm that way.

  12. I used to try to wake up before the kiddos got up, but every time, it never fails, they would wake up before me. (They are 3 & 1) So, now I write during nap time and after I put them to bed for a few hours. Depending. That’s the season I’m in right now. I suppose that will change as the kids get older.

  13. Kathryn, the same thing happened to me, but for a different reason. I used to get up before dawn’s early light when I was an altar boy at the 6:30 Mass at the rest home near my house. Habits stick. Well, some do.

    J.L.,it will change. I don’t much envy you now though, from a time standpoint. My youngest is 14 and we’re still making time adjustments.

  14. I like early morning, too, before the sun rises.

    I also like writing in the afternoon. After lunch is the best–around one-ish.

    Then, at night, around 9pm until my eyelids grow weary.

    But, don’t hold me to any of these.

  15. More and more often, Kathryn, I find I’m limited to mornings. There are too many interruptions during the rest of the day. I do my big boy job from mid-morning to late afternoon and then I get into the family stuff and the reading for reviews. Like you, though, I can move the writing around if need be and get something it at sometime during the day, everyday.

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