When exactly is the right time to sit down and write?
This is a question that I’ve recently discussed with an author friend, and one which every writer asks themselves at some point or other. When is the right time to write?
It could be….
Early morning when it’s quiet and the world is asleep. For me this works. There’s no one about and no one to demand my time or attention… other than my characters that is! ;-)
After breakfast or mid-morning, when the three cups of coffee you’ve just downed hit your brain and you have the shakes. Perhaps… but I don’t drink coffee. :-/
Just after lunch in the afternoon. You’ve had a productive morning and you’re raring to go. Or are you? For me, the lure of the sofa, a good book, or the T.V is too strong in the afternoon.
In the Evening when the kids are asleep, hubby is fed and your mind is clear. Yeah right! It’s more like my mind is numb from the day’s mayhem and I need to unwind and relax. I very, very rarely get any writing done in the evening.
As and when. Well, I think this happens for all writers. Inspiration is always lying and waiting in ambush, ready to pounce when you least expect it. I’ve even learnt to write on the pad I keep on my bedside table in the dark! I also find that inspiration has a sense of humour. It likes to wait for me to get into the shower, get covered from head-to-toe in soap suds and then dump a chapter idea or two into my head! *sigh*
The answer is different for all of us. We write when it best suits us. My author friend used to write at night when the world was going to sleep, but she said she hated getting up at 11 in the morning. She felt she was missing a good chunk of the day. I agree with her, it somehow feels more productive to me if I get up at 5 am write.
All novels begin in our heads and what’s very important is having the time to think. Agatha Christie, the renowned British crime writer of 66 detective novels, did much of her writing in her mind. So, when was the best time for her to plot her detective novels?
“The best time for planning a book is when you’re doing the dishes,” she said. That is excellent advice from someone who should know. After all, the Guinness Book of World Records hails Agatha Christie as the best-selling novelist of all time. She sold four billion copies of her novels and is eclipsed only by William Shakespeare and the Bible as the world’s most widely published books.
So, the right time to write is any time or anywhere.
I recently read this about writing… “When we’re not writing, our subconscious often does the writing for us. No wonder so many writers keep a notebook by the bed, in their purse or car.”
How do we do that? Like I said, think. Think about the story line. Think about the period/era/world the story is set in. Think about the characters. Think about every day life within your story. Think, think, and think again.
Daydream about it. Plot it out in your head. Imagine yourself there.
Finally, let your idea incubate a little more in your head. The grey matter will mull it over until it starts writing itself. You’ll know when it is ready to be transcribed to paper or to the computer. So, when the right time to write comes it will literally pour out of your head.
But, what do you do when you get stuck or get writer’s block? Begin the process again. Think, dwell, mull, daydream. Sometimes, I admit, even that doesn’t work. So, I get out my folder and read through some of my other ideas. I may even write a little of something else. It never takes long to fire your imagination back up – after all, you’re a writer, it’s what you do. Soon, you’ll be champing at the bit to get back to your story.
So, only you can say when the right time to write is, but the most important time is when you’re not writing at all.