Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Time for Writing is...?

All writers have a different time of day they consider to be their most productive. For me, the weekdays are hectic between the F/T work and driving the boy from here to there. I have expanded my basketball torture experience to two nights a week with the other geezers. This has the approval of my doctor, as I received a verbal spanking on Friday for my cholesterol shooting up to high levels.

I focus best early in the morning and, if I can drag my lazy butt out of bed early before others get up, I can usually make progress on a WIP then. I outlined another flash story when I waited for an hour at my son's swimming lesson yesterday morning. The observation area over the pool is fairly busy with waiting parents, so I'm surprised I can be productive there. Perhaps the clear, chlorinated water has a hypnotic, focusing affect on me...

Sunday mornings are good as I can work in my office and listen to the Sunday morning radio show "Homebrew" that focuses on local Celtic/Folk music. It's a mix of traditional Newfoundland songs, many of which show their Irish/Scottish origins. If you are at all interested in listening to this, you can hear the broadcast online on Sundays 9am until 1pm our time. My mental math tells me that is 12:30pm until 4:30pm GMT for the Brits, or 7:30am until 11:30am for the North Americans in the Eastern Time Zone. Sorry, my mental math isn't that good to work out the Australian time. I'm sure that you folks can do the math.

The radio station is normally a "classic rock" station, but converts to tradition music only on Sunday mornings. You can find 97.5 K-Rock here. Once at their web site, click on the "Listen Live" button in the top right corner.

So what works for you? What time of day is good writing time? Music or silence? What sort of music do you work to?...enquiring minds want to know.

20 comments:

Anton Gully said...

First thing in the morning before I fully wake up and realise that I could be doing something fun.

Laura Eno said...

Mid morning or late at night are my best times. I can't listen to music at all while I'm writing though. Must have silence. :)

Aaron Polson said...

My best time? Mid-morning and mid-evening (7:30-9:30 PM), although I like the honesty of Anton's answer.

Natalie L. Sin said...

Late afternoon/early evening. Before that = brain storming. I also require a large iced coffee at three P.M., and no music/TV while writing. I endure the pug noises : P

Cate Gardner said...

About 3:00-7:30 PM is my time, mainly because that's when writing fits easiest into my life. If I had a choice, I'd probably pick mornings thru to early afternnon.

Akasha Savage. said...

As I work most days, and as I am most definitly NOT a morning person, I don't have a lot of choice but to write of an evening. I find this works well for me; I can usually be found tapping away on my laptop between the hours of 8pm ~ 10pm. I have rejiggled my hours at work, and now manage to be home and writing each Wednesday afternoon - which is a huge achievement for me. Unless I am editing stuff I have to work in complete silence and solitude. I find noise and people too distracting.

Laurita said...

Alan, your writing time pretty much resembles mine - Sunday morning listening to 'Homebrew' and at the kids swimming lessons. Otherwise I just have to grab a few minutes here and there.

I like to write in places where there is a lot of activity - coffee shops, the park, etc. Grist for the mill.

Alan W. Davidson said...

Anton, That's hilarious. I like early morning, too, but must get a cup of coffee into me first.

Laura, I'm sure that you have your husband trained to maintain a priestly silence during your writing sessions.

Aaron, I find that the older I get, the less brain enery I have at that time of the evening.

Nat, I like the large coffee idea, though not iced. I've heard that pugs can be noisy, with a sort of smoker's wheeze. Greyhounds are very quiet, but eat a lot...

Cate, Full-time jobs suck. It sounds like you make the most of the writing time that you have (at least your publication record points to that).

Akasha, It's great when one's employer is cooperative like that.

Laurita, I've spent a lot of hours sitting at the pool in Mt. Pearl the past 3 years, so I've learned to have the background 'white noise' work in my favour. Coffee shop sounds like a great idea. But then you think of Timmies, and then doughnuts...

Laura Eno said...

Well, I could say that The Flaming Sword of Death and Jezebel keep my husband quiet, but the truth is he just works weird hours. :)

CJ Hodges MacFarlane said...

I feel less critical of myself before 9am or after 10pm, so I tend to do my writing then. Any other time is fraught with nitpicking words and frustrated vision. I've decided if it doesn't come "spilling" out of my head in one sitting, it probably isn't terribly good.

Cathy Olliffe said...

I can write anytime but because I work full time it's usually in the evening after the supper dishes are done. A couple weeks ago I borrowed my son's laptop and wrote most of a story in a busy chalet snack shack at a tubing place where families, teenager, a classic rock soundtack and an all-round din didn't really bother me. The only thing I find distracting is if someone speaks directly to me, and that pulls me from my happy reverie at the keyboard.

Cathy Olliffe said...

Good question, by the way, Alan. I enjoyed reading other people's answers.

Danielle Ferries said...

I write in my lunch break, but my favourite time is at night. And I like music playing - I have certain songs for certain stories - as I can't stand silence. I'm incapable of doing anything in the morning other than hauling myself out of bed and psyching myself up to get going for the day :)

Alan W. Davidson said...

Laura-One peek at the Flaming Sword of Death would be enough to make me keep my mouth shut!

CJ-That's interesting about being more critical about your work at certain times of the day. For a first draft. I like to let it all spill out in one sitting as well. If I'm trying to edit or being picky, it really slows down the process.

Cathy-Yeah, that was quite a range of responses from people. I like the ideal of gathering detailed information out in public as I think that it lends better 'realism' to a story.

Danielle-It's good that you can use your lunch time to get writing done. I can't do that at home as there is lunch prep to take care of (my wife and son come home for lunch). When I worked in an office, there were too many distractions with people trying to talk to you in the lunch room. It was easier to read a book than think...

K.C. Shaw said...

I've gotten into the bad habit of only writing on weekdays, during breaks at work and during lunch. I don't have a problem tuning out noise while I write, and in fact I tune out background sounds so well that I don't bother to listen to music--I wouldn't be hearing it. I like writing in cafes.

I'm a morning person, so I really ought to rearrange my sleep schedule so I go to bed really early and get up really early so I can write. I've done that in the past and it works well for me, until I stay up too late one night and then the whole scheme is ruined until I catch up on my sleep. :)

abrokenlaptop said...

This is my struggle. If I were alone and had nobody to worry about, I'd be a late afternoon writer. But I have two small needy kids, and I'm also very active in my church, so there goes that time. I already get up at 5:30, so I can't get up any earlier. If I have a hard deadline (NaNoWriMo, anybody?) then I block off from 9-11 or 10-12 at night, but I'm usually exhausted by then. Also, my husband doesn't get home until 7:00 every night, and I'd like to get to see him once in a while.

At the moment, I leave my computer on and write in barely coherent five to ten minute snatches throughout the day. My output is definitely suffering, but it's the best that I can do right now. I've learned to accept it and try to make it work. That's why I haven't been on the blog circuit as much, lately.

-Mercedes

katey said...

The "Homebrew" thing sounds awesome. I grew up listening to "The Thistle and Shamrock" every Sunday morning on NPR, and it sounds like a similar experience. Except, you know, Newfoundland!

It's funny how we can snatch solitary writing moments in even the busiest of settings sometimes. I prefer to write between the hours of 5pm and 3am, but I tend to start early these days, so I can get some in before "family time" for a few hours in the evening around dinner. Adorable how being married changes things! My own workout doesn't involve leaving the house like yours, but when it's time to hit the stepper, I know it's time to stop writing and pay attention to my husband ;)

Karen from Mentor said...

Alan, here's a photo of Laura's Flaming Sword of Death. I didn't take it...the guy who sent it to me sadly didn't make it out ....


http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_d9f4N51KzSs/SLweVnvFAUI/AAAAAAAAJ8E/H6lJIaj0tBk/s400/1.jpg


I write in the morning. Then weather permitting I walk. Weather not permitting I do yoga. Then I edit other people's things til my eyes bleed. :0)

Laura Eno said...

*snicker* That is my sword...

Alan W. Davidson said...

KC-I'm finding that the early morning thing is working better for me than the late night thing. I'm less likely to fall asleep and crush the keyboard.

Mercedes-Darn those time demanding hubbies and kids! Well, I suppose they have their good points ;)

Katey-You should get up early one Sunday and tune Homebrew in on your computer. A little Newfoundland culture won't kill ya. You know, we've got a treadmill here and I never use the thing!

Karen-Thanks for the peek at Laura's Flaming Sword of Death...I suppose someone's going to show up at my door tonight and kill me...

I hear that cotton balls work well for absorbing the blood leaking from the eyes of editors.

Laura-I hope that Karen got your permission for allowing me a private viewing of your sword. Very nice! (*spoken like Borat*)