We’ve all heard the lectures and read the articles about finding the time to write, making the time to write — which is all well and good, but what about finding your time to write? I’m not talking about scrimping together your minutes like a miserly dragon with his hoard or — as John Adamus puts it — carpe minuten. No, I’m talking about finding that time of day where you feel you are at your best and do your best writing. This is not to be confused with the time you’re forced to function, either by jobs, life, or social obligation. I’m talking about finding that time frame where you feel most like yourself.
Take myself, for example. For years, I have worked a string of 8a-5p jobs like any normal wage-slave. I did it because I had to and that was what the job required, but my body rebelled at the idea of rolling out of bed at 6am every morning. By preference, my body seems to like functioning between noon and 3am most of the time. I’m a night-owl and I always have been. By this same design, I oftentimes do my best writing in the afternoon/evening, because that’s when my mind feels refreshed and ready to face the challenges of the day.
Writing within your own natural rhythm, just like sleeping within your own natural rhythm, provides you with a better experience. You’re working with your mind and body, instead of dragging them kicking and screaming to the work desk. We’re often told to listen to our gut or go with our instincts, why should our writing be any different? If we find we write best at a certain time of day, shouldn’t we listen to what our body and mind is saying and work with that? For years, I forced myself to write outside the times I knew were best for me and time and again my writing fell flat — if it even got off the ground at all.
Find the time that best suits you, your mind, and your writing. It can make all the difference in the world.
(Of course, your mileage may vary…)