Camy here! As I write this, it’s late evening in California, because I’ve discovered my best writing time is usually in the evening and early morning hours.
For years this really frustrated me because who in their right mind writes best at 2 a.m.? Especially when I had to get up at 8 a.m. to go to my biology job. (Pain and suffering ...) Why can’t I be like Ruthy who can get up at (Godforsaken) 4 in the morning to efficiently zip off a chapter before breakfast?
Alas, God has a sense of humor. It’s why He gave me and my husband a buttheaded dog for our first family pet and why I out of all my cousins has a behind the size of Alaska.
I write best between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m., Pacific Standard time. It’s always been this way for me. Even when studying in college, I was most efficient around midnight.
So how about you guys? (I know I’m going to regret this because I’m going to be insanely jealous at all you early morning writers, but oh well.) What is your best writing time?
And if you don’t know your best writing time, here’s how you can find out:
1) Take a few weeks and deliberately schedule to write at different times. Morning, afternoon, evening. Lunchtime, dinnertime. 2 a.m. (I’m kidding on that last one!)
2) Try each time period more than once, because it IS possible to have just a bad writing day regardless of the time.
3) Look at not just your efficiency—how many pages/words you cranked out—but also how good you felt about what you wrote. For example, my best words (the ones that need the least amount of revising/editing) tend to come out before midnight, but I crank out the most pages after midnight.
4) Keep a notebook or a Word document file to record your thoughts and progress for each time period.
5) See a trend? You also might have several different times that are good writing times for you (and if that’s true, I am going to come after you and shoot you).
So what’s the point of knowing your best writing time?
I mostly take advantage of it during crunch time, when I’m on deadline or I just want to finish a project quickly. I prepare in advance so that it’s okay for me to be up and working right after dinner until the wee hours of morning, and then I go for it. Hubby is always a bit sad to have to wait to watch some of our TiVo shows, but he suffers in silence for my art. :) And I get a lot done—I’ve written a book in about 3 weeks utilizing my best writing time.
So what’s your best writing time?
Camy Tang writes romance with a kick of wasabi. Her novels Single Sashimi and Deadly Intent are out now. She runs the Story Sensei critique service, is a staff worker for her church youth group, and leads one of the worship teams for Sunday service. On her blog, she gives away Christian novels and ponders frivolous things. Sign up for her newsletter YahooGroup for giveaways!