Nathan Bransford, Author


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

When Do You Write?

We've talked about where people write, but reader Roberto Soto was the first to pose this one: when do you write?

Are you like Jeff Abbott in the early days, getting up at 4am with a little suspense writing to start your day?

Or do you write when the inspiration strikes?

Lots of people have asked me this question since last Thursday, and let me just say that while being an agent is indeed a hectic profession I know for a fact I am not nearly as busy as some of the people who read this blog (for one, I don't have kids). And as those of you who are insanely busy know, there's always time to write. You might just need to force yourself to write during the times when every atom in your body would rather be doing something else.

What about you?






278 comments:

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Sara said...

I write late at night. Usually I get started around midnight and write until three or four in the morning.

Robert W. Leonard said...

I try to write every day. For me it seems to work best late at night. Distractions of the day are gone and I can sit and think clearly. Right when I wake up I have too much to think about for my business to get any clear ideas on writing. I suppose it is because I work both jobs at home.

Alejandra said...

Whenever I can. Usually late at night, after my boyfriend has gone to bed and the TV is off and the apartment is finally quiet. I'm nocturnal (except it makes having to get up for work the next morning a bit difficult). I also write while I'm at work during my lunch hour. I usually open an email message and just write in the body of the email. Odd, but it works. Then I can just email it to myself for continuation at a later date.

Holly Bodger said...

After I finish my day job (in publishing) and my night job (as a mom), I start my unpaying job (as a writer). So the short answer is late at night. Or, if it has been one of those days where my son has shoved a candy up his nose, VERY late at night.

Victoria Schwab said...

You're going to have to start answering the questions you pose to your readers, Nathan! Your life is plenty busy.

When I was in college, I wrote whenever I could find at least 45 minutes (less than that and I couldn't get into a groove). I wrote when everything was dead silent (12am-2am). I still like writing in the times where that silence naturally settles.

Victoria
THE NEAR WITCH, Hyperion '11

Amber J. Gardner said...

I wake up at 4am so I gives me with plenty of time to write without any excuses. I tend to write better in the morning than at night cause later in the day I've already been sucked in by the internet and all hope is lost for me at that point.

I also love the feeling of getting the words down before the sun barely is in the air and I still have the entire day ahead of me ^_^

Sara J. Henry said...

Best writing times: early in the morning, before the brain kicks on and thinks of all the other things I need to do, and late at night, when I'm too tired to even think of all those other things.

Best plotting or mental-composing times: driving a car, walking the dog, painting a room, or riding a bike

Anonymous said...

Between 10 pm and about 3 am - I work full time, have 2 kids, husband, 5 pets ...

Lately I'm averaging about 350 (pretty polished) words per hour. I'm wondering if I'm really that slow a writer or if it's lack of sleep. What do others avg?

Eve said...

I've got a 2-year old, so my writing time is usually restricted to when he's sleeping. So I write during his naptime and after he goes to bed at night. Often I fall asleep at the keyboard myself. :(

nomadshan said...

When I started writing, I wrote from 10pm to 2am. Now I write in the afternoons during the week, and all day on the weekends.

I still do my best creative writing at night. If I have more "work-like" writing tasks to do (e.g. editing), I'm sharper during the day.

Malia Sutton said...

I write usually write at night, after work. It takes time to get into the swing of it sometimes.

lauren said...

I usually get in my writing groove around 9:30 or 10 PM. I tend to stay up writing until midnight, take a few minutes to write a few notes for tomorrow, and then crash.

Also, if I'm in the middle of a scene or chapter I just can't tear myself away from, I'll write during my lunch break at work. This makes for a long day of sitting at my desk, though. I usually like to get out and walk during lunch... I get a lot of good ideas during that time.

I tried the 4 AM thing for a week once. My husband gets up at 3:30 (ugh) to go to work, so I had him wake me up to write. It was death. I fell asleep at my desk at least 3 times that week. At least for now, I'm a night person.

Sean Craven said...

Early in the morning, but I've been improving my discipline and have occasionally been able to work in the afternoons and evenings recently.

Rissa Watkins said...

At night when the husband and kid are in bed. Usually until about 3 or 4 in the morning.This makes me a cranky mom when I have to get up early to take the kid to school.

But I figure why should I be the only one suffering for my art, right?

Natalie said...

I used to write during nap time, but that's a thing of the past. Now it's night or morning when kids aren't awake. I'm lucky if I can squeak in a few words during the day.

Anonymous said...

I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night with a great idea. I have to go to my computer and input the idea before I forget it. But, I write mostly at night after everyone has gone to bed and the house is quiet.

Mike Jung said...

I used to do most of my writing late at night, but my brain went through some kind of seismic shift and now I have to write during early mornings and lunch hours. I still squeeze in those random moments while standing in line at Costco and so on, however.

Marilyn Peake said...

I write whenever I can and my brain’s awake enough to be effective. Timely question. I’m probably two days away from completing the first draft of my science fiction novel after marathon writing sessions yesterday and this morning. I wrote late last night until every atom in my body was about to rebel with exhaustion, and then I got up five hours later and went back to writing as soon as I could.

Amy Lundebrek said...

I tried getting up at 4am to write before the day job, but I only lasted about a month. I'm looking for a new slot now which will most likely have to be late evening.

Anonymous said...

I once had the good fortune to hear Bernard Cornwell speak at a writers conference. He pointed out that writing is a job and should be handled as such. No “waiting for the impulse to strike,” just schedule a block of time and get those words down. That is my approach. I have “writing hours” and word count goals and I take both very seriously. Currently my hours are roughly 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at least 4 days a week. But if I miss a word count goal they can expand to include evenings and weekends.

Joel Q said...

Usually on weekends and a few evenings a week.

Though I write more in the fall/winter than in the spring/summer. (to much to do outside)

Long holidays are great too.

I try to give myself word count goals to keep me on track.

Terresa said...

I write at all times of the day: when I first wake up, wiping sleep from my eyes, sitting in my underwear at the computer. I write at 8:30am after eating chocolate chip waffles for breakfast smothered in whipped cream. I write in between driving my four young kids to piano, garden club and play dates. I write while sitting in my van going through the automatic car wash.

But mostly I write at night, between 8pm and midnight. I write after cleaning white chipped counters, washing the twentieth fork, and picking up the last bread crust tossed to the tile floor in my suburban America. I squeeze every last second of the night like sweet juice from an orange, to write.

J.L. Martin said...

I write when the ambulance sirens and the mentally ill have toned it down to a dull roar out on the street. So that means I write late at night and when it's raining.

M M Phillips said...

I try to set Saturdays aside for a day-long writing marathon. I let myself sleep in a little and have a leisurely breakfast with my husband and son, then I head to my office to write. Most Saturdays I'll stay there from about 10 until 5. Summer kind of threw a wrench into my schedule since we had lots going on during the weekends, but things are smoothing back out again.

Besides the weekends, I write some evenings and sometimes early in the morning when I can't sleep (which happens fairly often).

Some of my best ideas come during my half-hour walk every morning at 6 am. The challenge is getting them actually written down before the the getting-son-to-school-and-self-to-work rush takes over.

Ink said...

I write at work, constantly interrupted by customers. At least they give me money, sometimes, which eases the sting of interruption.

sex scenes at starbucks said...

I write when my kids are at school, mostly every day, though my Saturdays are starting to dwindle cuz I'd rather play with my kiddos.

Sometimes, when I'm not recovering from a conference as I am presently, I wake up at some ungodly hour and write then.

One thing I've noticed, when has no effect on how well I write, just how pleasant an experience it is.

Deaf Indian Muslim Anarchist! said...

during the day

onelowerlight said...

I write when I can, usually between 10pm and 12pm. However, if I don't snag an hour or half our between classes sometime in the day, I'm usually not very productive.

Annalee said...

I used to write late at night after work--the only time I had time--but now that I've got a netbook, I've started writing on the train to and from work. Which has been really awesome, because I no longer feel like my commute is wasted "dead time."

We'll see if I manage to get my second novel finished that way.

Regina Milton said...

Mornings and afternoons work best for me. If I have a deadline I will work at night but I generally stop writing by about 5 or 6 p.m. because all of the creative juices for that day have been used up.

D. G. Hudson said...

I get up earlier than others in my house, so I have quiet time to do editing or writing. I write almost any time when I'm having to wait - for appointments, etc. (keeping a pocket sized moleskine book with me helps)
I find editing in the morning, and creating in the evening works well for me. I'm flexible though, especially right now when we're selling our house, and I'm trying to complete the novel I'm currently writing.

I try to write something every day - whether working on my novels, or short stories, and blogs. We do what we can, if we want to be writers.

Rick Daley said...

I have two works in progress. I write one in the morning, and the other in the evening. For the morning WIP, I usually wake up at 6am and write for 1.5-2 hours. I work in a home office, so that makes it easy to switch to my day job.

In the evening, I take my laptop out to the couch and I'll write while my wife reads or watches TV. Both of my sons' soccer seasons started recently, though, and it's been cramping my PM style.

WORD VERIFICATION: imixed. An interconnectivity device from Apple that allows you to exchange data from your many iDevices.

Dawn Herring said...

I write every evening in my journal; I'm always jotting down ideas for pieces whenever they come to me. I have to plan space on a day when I'm home to work on my novel. My other shorter pieces are usually written in the afternoons or evenings when the inspiration seems to flow better.

Barry Napier said...

The simple answer is "whenever I have the time". Of course, with work and 2 kids, this sometimes means going 2 weeks at a stretch without writing so much as a sentence.

From the Greens Committee said...

One thing that helps me is to keep a notepad in the bathroom and the car. (not kidding) I find that I get tons ideas taking a shower etc. or in a parking lot. I don't want to lose them.

Also, if you have a plot or dialogue idea in a random place, leave yourself a voicemail either at home or at work. You'll be surprised how often you'll use those ideas.

When I do get the time (3 kids), notes really help get the fire burning.

Cary
www.InsidetheHedges.com

Judy said...

I work part time, so I write around my work schedule. This year, I'll write in the morning and again after four in the afternoons. I write more when I'm actively engaged in a manuscript. During my "down times"--after I've sold a manuscript--I'll take a few weeks to work on promotion, business stuff, email, research, and reading. Because I have limited time to write, I'm pretty focused.

AM said...

Over time, I have learned that different aspects of the writing process require different brain activity and that I am at my best with the following schedule:

I work out the concepts and the outlines throughout the day as the "inspiration strikes” me.

I write new sections first thing in the morning, when I am fresh and at my creative best.

I edit at night, after a long day of analysis and development, when cutting feels good.

It is impossible to write creatively when I am in my business, engineering, analysis mode. Different sides of the brain, I suppose.

David Eric Tomlinson said...

Nights and weekends. I'm worthless until about three cups of coffee.

J. R. McLemore said...

I love to write when inspiration hits, but mainly I write in the late afternoon, after I settle other daily business. Also, I try to write everyday, but sometimes I'm not successful.

Novice Writer Anonymous said...

I try to write for an hour a day whenever the opportunity presents itself. Sometimes this is in the middle of the day or it's my winding down time before heading to bed.

No matter what, though, it's impossible for me to write in the middle of the afternoon because that's when my circadian rhythm is at its lowest point and I just cannot do anything.

Anonymous said...

(Sadly) I do most of my writing at work, in between phone calls, (although sometimes during long holds...), on lunch break, and in rare spots when I have nothing else to do.

I do this for 2 reasons.

1. I have 2 little kids, and they wear me out at night. Even after they finally go to bed it usually leaves me in the wrong mindset to write.

I CAN write at home sometimes, and force myself when I need to do large blocks, but so far it's rare.

2. Work puts me in just the right "brain dead semi focused" state of mind where I can churn little bits out over time. Plus I usually have caffeine/taurine in my system.....

I still get all my work done of course ;) - but there are enough spots of downtime in between that I can patch a chapter together over a day or week usually.

jonathandanz said...

Usually 9 or 10 am to 2 or 3 pm. I'm currently lucky enough to have the time to do this schedule. I don't know how much longer I can do it, but I'm enjoying it while I can.

Mercy Loomis said...

When I was working I wrote after getting home in the evening. I'd run up to my office and get my word count goal done while my husband made dinner. And I'd write on weekend mornings while he slept in.

Nowadays I do my Tuesday/Friday blog posts in the morning, and I tend to start writing sometime after 2pm. I use the morning to do chores around the house. For whatever reason, I have an easier time settling in after 2pm, regardless of whether the chores are actually done. The nice thing is I can keep going all night if I need to.

susiej said...

When I've done everything that needs done, I usually have an hour before I pick up my kids. Sometimes, I don't feel the least bit creative, but something magical happens when I sit down at the computer.

When I have serious goals/deadlines to meet, I stay up late- the house is so beautifully quiet, even the dog is asleep. But the cat can be a pain.

I also have notebooks stashed everywhere- car, purse, suitcase so I can jot things down when the come and then craft them later.

Dominique said...

Right now, I'm writing at night mostly. Sometimes when the sun is up, if I can find the time, but that's not so often lately.

Stephanie said...

I usually write in the evening, when the kids are in bed. I sit up in bed with my laptop, lights off, and let the words spill out.
On my days off, I find that I have my laptop on all day, but rarely do I type much then. Just a relentless rereading of the last sentence I wrote the night before. Or is it the endless calling of "Mom!" that keeps me distracted?

AM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bryan said...

I make my living as a grant writer, so when I'm working on a big deadline, I write from about 5 am to midnight with a few breaks for meals and exercise. But for my fiction writing, I scheme/plan while driving, exercising, or mowing the yard, and I write at night after the rest of the family heads to bed--usually from about 10 pm to 2 am.

Krista G. said...

Before my daughter was born back in June, I wrote during my son's naptime in the middle of the afternoon. I haven't started writing again since then, so I'm not sure when I'll be writing in the future. Hopefully she'll get on the same schedule as her brother and I'll still have those glorious two or three hours in the afternoon...

Kathy Fawcett said...

I write during the week when the kids are in school. I also write in the car while waiting for their activities to end. I rarely write on the weekends and don't write well at night - too tired.

Bane of Anubis said...

Late night writing is usually the best -- quiet, dark, and for some reason, my neurons have finally decided to wake up.

Anonymous said...

Anon@8:43,

I remember reading an interview or something where Dean Koontz said that he wrote about 2,000 polished words a day.

I'd say that you're doing great at 350 words an hour, especially with you busy life.

Mira said...

I write best at night.

Right now, though, I'll be writing for grad school (in one of my genres, fortunately). So, undoubtedly I will write all of my papers an hour before they are due.

To do anything different would be to disgrace the noble profession of: student. One must uphold the standards.

Steve Brezenoff said...

I write when the babysitter shows up.

Keith Schroeder said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hollie Sessoms said...

I always write when I get home from a run. Something about physical exercise inspires my creativity. I also get up in the middle of the night and write when I can't sleep for all the plotting that is going on inside my head.

Anonymous said...

Count me in as a night owl -- but one living in a lark world. My writing hours are supposed to be 10 p.m. to midnight, but last night, I was drained by 11 p.m. So I went to bed and STILL hit snooze on the alarm clock this morning.

It's harder to write now that my daughter has hit third grade, and she needs help studying for tests. But one day I will be able to write between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., because one day, somehow, I will be able to become a full-time writer.

Keith Schroeder said...

I start around 5 a.m. on weekends, holidays, and work days outside tax season. During tax season I write half early morning and half after the wife and kids go to bed.

I write 2000 words of rough draft a day except for work days during tax season when I write 1000 per day. I spend 1-2 hours per day on revisions, more for research, except again for tax season.

When I finish a story I take three days off from any writing and then look at my next project. After a cooling down period I review previous work and edit.

I write my blog when ideas strike and keep several on the burner for posting

Anna said...

As soon as the tea is made and all relevant sites have been perused, the writing begins. Sometimes that's as early as 8 AM, sometimes not until a bit later. But ALWAYS in the morning, always after the tea has been brewed.

Always after the tea is prepared. Always always always.

Scott said...

Monday - Friday: 6:30 PM until whenever.

Saturday - Sunday: normally early, and then off and on throughout the day.

Sometimes I bring my laptop to work and work during lunch if the writing is going really well.

I think for the most part, I write when I write, whether morning, afternoon, evening, or at midnight because I just can't sleep. : )

S

Amber Argyle-Smith said...

I write when my baby naps and my son is watching cartoons.

Kate H said...

I have kids and work at home, so the best time for me is mornings--I write for an hour or so after the kids leave for school, then get on with my day job. For a year or so I got up at 5 am and wrote for an hour and a half until I had to get the kids up, but I ended up with adrenal fatigue because I wasn't getting enough sleep. If I could get to bed consistently early, though, I'd go back to 5 am, because the phone doesn't ring and the brain is still in semi-dream mode, just right for writing. Evenings are hopeless for me, I'm brain-dead.

Alexa said...

I write whenever the baby is sleeping and I have got enough of the chores done so we aren't living in too much chaos. My definition of chaos changes depending how well the words are coming :)

CindaChima said...

People ask my husband when I write, and he says, "All the time." And when I had my day job I had to take what I could get. I rose at 4 a.m.--not to write, but so I could get everything else done: workout, work, family. I'd write in the evenings and fall asleep on the keyboard. I organized my job into a 4-day week, then would write nonstop the other three days. Vacations and holidays, the same. Now that I'm a full time writer, I'm trying to get out of the habit of working constantly. On a normal day, I write all morning until ~2 p.m., then have lunch and check emails, correspondence, etc, workout, dinner, family; then back to work.

Missy said...

I write when inspiration hits me but I also have to write when it doesnt hit me and like you said every atom in my body is telling me to go do something else because I love writing and I would never finish a book if I only wrote when I was inspired. Because its summer I write in the afternoon but once college starts next week I'm probably going to have to write at some insane hour of the morning because of work right after school.
looking forward to it haha =P

Bill Mabe said...

Any time I can. When I wake up, for 30 minutes or so before work. Every weekday I set aside 2 hours a night before going to bed. Weekends are hectic, but I try to fit in 2-3 hours on Sat. and Sun.

Liz said...

I write whenever and wherever I can. This means first thing in the morning on the train whilst commuting, it means during the day at work if no one is around, it includes lunch time and the train journey home.

Fortunately for me, my hubby is also an aspiring author. So both of us have evenings dedicated to writing and one day of the weekend is dedicated to writing in a local coffee shop.

Not writing means my head will explode.

I also meet up on Thursday evenings after work with a writerly friend to write in a coffee shop here in London before heading home.

Having appeared as a paragon of writing above, I'd like to point out that I also review books. So inbetween writing, I read - loads. I am also an excutive assistant in a commodities company and I work from 8am to 6pm.

And eventhough I try to do as much writing as I can, I know from reading these comments and from other writers' blogs, that I fall way short of what they do on a daily basis.

But truth be told: I genuinely sneak in writing when I can. It's like breathing. I can't not do it.

AndrewDugas said...

I write on the bus to and from work, about 2.5 hours a day total. In fact, I wrote the second half of my novel in six months on the bus. Of course, by that point I had the end in sight and a pretty good idea of the road map there, working from a loose outline. It was easy because I just focused on THIS SCENE NOW and banged it out.

It's great. Headphones on, laptop open. Sometimes the ride seemed too short.

I've found this less conducive to revising, however, as it's hard to balance a marked up hard copy along with the laptop.

See you on the 24 bus!

Laura Martone said...

I'm with a lot of other folks here... I feel most inspired late at night, when the rest of the world (or, more specifically, my time zone) is asleep and hopefully dreaming...

I love the nighttime - the stillness, the spookiness, the odd sense of vitality I feel - perhaps I was a vampire in a former life. Too bad I write literary fiction. ;-)

----

word veri: exessese - that's hilarious. My hubby would say that I write to "exessese" - excluding all else, including him sometimes. :-(

Anonymous said...

I seem to have fallen into a nice routine of morning coffee and news. Then I head to my studio and do e-mails, read, and think about my novel and then I open it up and write. Sometimes I write all morning through the afternoon. Sometimes only in the morning.

I like to spend my evening time with my husband so I rarely write then. (Before children and family, or when children were little and safely tucked in bed, I wrote at night.)

Pretty soon, my schedule may need to adjust again. When that happens, I will write in the morning only.

However, I am always walking around with my story in my head. That's also part of my process. For the past month, I have had a lot of organizing to think about in regards to my new WIP as it has several time periods and I need to think about how to weave and separate them and keep the story together. That has required a lot of "imagination work" where I try to see the novel as a movie in my head. When do I change scenes? is a question I have been imagining and walking with. I don't want it to become too jerky or lose the main story line.

I am also now using and working with an outline. That is something I thought I'd never do, but it really is enormously helpful.

Some of my writing process is working the outline.

As far as actual writing, at the very least I open up my file every day in the morning usually and run a spell check and reread yesterday's writing (writers love to read their own writing anyway) and then continue unless, of course, I'm not sure what's next. In that case, it's back to the movie imagination or the outline.

For me the hardest part is editing, which I delegate to late afternoons in small doses, like just before my husband is due home.

Mandajuice said...

When I'm in the thick of it, I wake up early and write before the kids get up, between 5-7:00AM. I like the quiet and the coffee, but I'm generally one to write any time, any place, on any surface, with any tool. Some of my best scenes were written on the back of an envelope while at a stoplight or using notepad on my iPhone during soccer practice.

If I waited until the perfect time to write, I'd have nothing but a blinking cursor to show for myself.

Marsha Sigman said...

Perfect time to write: 10pm to 1am.

I am hoping my talent grows at the same rate as the dark circles under my eyes.

Cathryn said...

4-5:30am weekdays, that way, no matter what happens at work, I was already a writer that day.

1-4pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

Like Alejandra, I've been known to open an email message at work and write a bit, even if it's just notes on the workplace -- great fodder for psychological suspense!

Mystery Robin said...

After the kids go down and I've sufficiently spent time with my husband, so usually around 10. I'd write all night if I could, but try to be in bed by 12, because I have to get up at 6:30 to start lunches and stuff. That doesn't mean I get a full 2 hours to write, but writing typically happens within that two hour slot.

If I know exactly what I want to write, I can do it during the day, but I can't work through anything difficult unless I know for sure the kids won't interrupt me.

Dara said...

I don't write like I should.

But when I do, it's whenever...if it's slow at work, I'll write then (and being a secretary for a real estate office, it's slow a lot). Sometimes I'll write in the evening after dinner. Other times I'll write late at night--especially if it's a weekend.

Ainsley MacQueen said...

I quit...working full time.

I work mornings then hit WRITE OR DIE.com to get 2000 words everyday.

I edit the previous day's work in the evening and during football games!

Regan Leigh said...

I start writing between 9 and 11PM. My husband plays guitar and I write. I usually keep going until 3AM. (I do best after the entire house is silent and dark, except for the glow of my candles and laptop screen.)

I also try to write between clients at work. Sometimes I have an hour, but other times I only have five minutes to add a few lines to an email draft.

I was a night owl before I started writing again, so I'm up late no matter what.

Sophie W. said...

Whenever I have time. Since I'm a student, my schedule isn't in my own hands. I can have relatively little work one week and a crapton of homework the next. It's impossible to predict. So whenever I can sit down with a functioning word processor in relative quiet for more than a couple of minutes, I write something.

Eileen Wiedbrauk said...

Late evening when all the distractions are gone or asleep and there's no longer anything good on TV.

HollyD said...

I'm a stay-at-home mom w/ 5 kids. Four are school age and in 4 different schools. I write a few hours in the morning after the last bus pick up and then in the evenings after the kids are in bed until 2:00 in the morning. I so hate it when the alarm goes off at 6:15 every morning.

Anonymous said...

The Best two things NaNoWriMo did for me:
1. Helped me establish writing first thing in the morning after/with coffee everyday.
(Before I wrote when I was moved,thought I was a night writer only but often at night I was tired, or I start-stop wrote or stalled.)
(I don't write that frantic anymore, but I write 4-5 days a week at least in AM going on my third year.)

2. Got me to finish a Big Fun Project. Wow. That was a boost to my confidence. Afterwards I was able to spend the next 18 months editing it.
(Knowing you can make it to completion is unbelievable.)

Maggie said...

I have a small notebook that I take notes in and I write when the mood strikes. I do, however, tend to order my notes and do longer writing sessions in the evening.

Elizabeth Lynd said...

I mostly write in the mornings, after dropping the kids at school, but before heading to the gym. That's usually the right stretch of time for me to squeeze out some good words, and the deadline of a yoga class puts in the urgency that I once heard Dr. Heather Sellers advocate (and a great idea too). That's not the only time I write, but it is the most common.

By the way, Nathan, I linked an old post of yours to my own blog today. Just thinking about querying and agents and what it is you guys do all day.

Corinne Bowen said...

Usually between 10pm and 1am. Unless I'm in the car and my husband is driving...I always take advantage of long car rides!

ella144 said...

I write at nights after the kids are in bed and on weekends. Alternate writing times are during my lunch hour, on the shuttle bus, and on the commute to/from work.

I also will schedule writing time with my family if I need it. Something along the lines of "If you let me write for 4 hours this morning, this afternoon we'll do [insert fun family-time event].

Yes, indeed-y, a little bribery goes a long way.

Cat said...

I write from 8am to 12am. It's the only time I can write because all my 3 kids are at school. I leave my household alone, no matter how disgusting it looks. I start cleaning and cooking as son as the first kid comes home from school. The afternoon is way to busy with household chores, driving the kids around and other things from my to-do list and at night I'm too tired to think.

Anonymous said...

I write just about whenever I have a spare moment. I've stopped writing before I leave for work, mostly because then I won't actually stop to leave. But I write during my morning commute, my lunch break, my afternoon tea break, my evening commute and sometimes I eek out an hour or so in the evening. Oh, weekends are a good time, too. Much easier to find a nice solid chunk of time and compile all the fragments I've scribbled over the week.

SammyStewart said...

Toddler naptime..two hours a day if I'm lucky. Seems like there are a lot of us writing like that!

Watery Tart said...

I work full time with a family and all, so do almost all my writing between 9 and 11 pm in the bathtub. I write every night, but until the water relaxes me enough to let go of the day, the creativity sometimes just won't flow.

Kristi said...

I have kids that get up between 5:30a and 6am and as my husband would attest, I do NOT function well without sleep, therefore 4:30a is out for me. I write in the evenings, usually after the kids are in bed.

I do it now by words, rather than amount of time. I don't go to sleep until I hit 2,000 words - the time that takes varies depending on where I am in the story as well as where I am mentally. I set a self-imposed deadline of Oct. 8th for the whole ms, as I do better with deadlines. So far I'm on track. :)

Diana said...

If I'm up at 4 a.m., it's because:
a. I'm still up at 4 a.m.
b. The house is on fire.

I reach my writing zen from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. For some reason, there is something about the stillness of those hours that put my creativity into overdrive.

I do my best editing in the early afternoon, though.

Robert McGuire said...

It's very hard for me to work on my writing at any time other than first thing in the morning when my energy fresh. (First thing after a pot of coffee and a glance at the paper, that is.) Later in the day it's too hard to shake off the cares of the day. So I try really hard to schedule all my other responsibilities for after that period. If something has to infringe on that first-thing-in-the-morning time, I usually chalk that up to a day when I won't get any writing done. I'm finding, though, that as I get more experienced, I'm slightly less dependent on this schedule.

Christine said...

During the school year, I write from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. most days. During the summer, when the kids are at home, I try to stick to the same schedule, although it usually ends up being only an hour.

This time does not include blogging time, nor does it include marketing of the writing.

I can write in gusts of about 1700 words per hour, but I don't try to write and polish at the same time. That's what revision is for.

Lisa said...

I love writing in the mornings. But I can only do this on weekends. So I usually write mid-afternoon to evening on work days.

Candy O'Donnell said...

I write when I can during the day or evening hours. I work from home and go to school online which is great for writing in between everything...

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Hi, Nathan! I write when the inspiration strikes, but I've found that each story I've written has pulled at me from a different time of the day. I usually write in the afternoon or at night, however.

Brandon said...

Generally late at night, with the soft murmur of SportsCenter's daily recap on in the background. Though I usually tune it out, I've found SportsCenter to be some sort of strange black magic that facilitates the wizardry of my writing process, be it the novel I'm working on or a snappy little freelance blog post. On nights when I feel like it is really pouring out, I'll go through the entire 11 - 3am ESPN lineup.

BarbS. said...

I write whenever I can, no matter the hour.

Lindsey said...

Nap time is the Write Time for me. ;)

Sonia Elabd said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I don't write anymore. Ever. Life, work, and baby have taken everything over. I am waiting to get that perfect job I had in college again where I can write at work all day.

Kelly said...

I either write for an hour or so in the afternoon while the kids are at school or from 9-11 at night when the kids are asleep! I try to write 2-4 times a week. Summers are tough though, so it is good to be back in the routine again.

sherrah said...

I try to write on my lunch breaks at work, and for an hour or two in the evenings while my husband is doing homework for his grad classes. But I think about my story when I'm driving, cooking, doing dinner, falling asleep, etc., so that when I sit down to write I know what I'm doing and the time is more productive.

Aimless Writer said...

Every.
Spare.
Minute.

Lydia Sharp said...

I don't have the privilege of being able to just write when the inspiration hits. It usually stews in my brain while I'm doing my other more important tasks (being a mom, for one), and then gets a release whenever I have the opportunity. I've learned to write on demand, meaning, if I have an hour to myself, by chance, I better use it. No room for writer's block in my life.

That being said, I think my most productive writing sessions have been either very late at night (midnight and later), or very early in the morning (sometimes I wake up at 2am with a story begging to be written).

Sassee B said...

I have to write when I'm struck with inspiration. If I don't at least write down a sentence or phrase to remind me of what I was thinking, I won't remember it later.

For larger chunks of writing I find that early morning or mid-afternoon are my best writing times. My brain isn't fried yet and I have better concentration. I'm actually the most creative late at night when I'm tired, but if I try to write anything of substance it won't happen. I get lost daydreaming and before I know it I've slipped into dreamland with my notebook in my lap.

So, the one word answer to your question is... "sporadically."

Marie said...

I write when there's down time at the day job, which happens at least for a couple hours each day. Usually I can get a good 1,000+ words in by then, but if not, then I take about an hour before I go to bed. Doesn't work all the time, but it seems to work most days. :)

Skeptic said...

I'm lucky - because I can write AT work (12.5 hour night shifts in a psychiatric hospital) while people are sleeping.

At home, I tend to ignore sleep and write whenever I can - neglecting things like mowing the lawn or shopping at normal hours. My neighbor recently worried I died in my house and called the police to make sure all was well. She thought my car hadn't moved for three months. (It had. I'm not a recluse, I'm just out and about while everyone else is sleeping.)

Dana Fredsti said...

On work days (feh, work days!) I write after dinner/cat cleanup for a couple of hours. On weekends/holidays, I get my beach walk, housework, misc. crap done in the mornings, then start around noon and write until I get sleepy.

Rogue Novelist said...

Ideas materialize into visions when sleeping. That's when I'm most productive. Words articulate those visions into plots and characterizations between eight AM and eight PM.

Thanks for asking. When do you write?

Kristin Laughtin said...

On weekdays, it's usually in the evening after I get home from work and have a little time to recupe/eat dinner. On weekends, whenever the inspiration strikes (usually late at night or late morning/early afternoon). Hardest part is balancing it with writing school papers on occasion, as I'm in grad school part-time on top of my full-time job, but those usually don't take too many days to complete anyway. I just write more when I do have the time again!

Lisa Schroeder said...

I'm so in awe of the people who write at night. After working the day job and helping with homework and taking the dog for a walk, I am TOO tired.

I do most of my writing on the weekends, and when things are going well, I'll get up early and write a little in the morning.

Scott said...

It depends on the day of the week. During the work week, I usually spend most of my lunch hour writing. It's not a lot of time, but I can usually crank out 300-500 words. On the weekends, I try to sneak in an hour or two early, before the kids are up.

I used to get really frustrated about not being able to write more or have a set time during the day. Once I gave that up and stopped putting tons of pressure on myself, writing became fun again and I look at every word I write as a positive.

Pete Miller said...

I write after the kids get to bed. 10PM to 11:30 or so. But this time is shared by all projects so I write 2 to 3 days a week.

:)Ash said...

Usually every day from 11pm-12am (and I tend to edit previous days' work from 9pm-11pm, while I'm catching up on shows recorded on the DVR...). I also write when I can throughout the day; whenever a free moment happens to arise.

Kristine Overbrook said...

I write:
-When my day job is slow
-at the doc office
-waiting for parent teacher confs
-when I'm the passanger (doesn't matter the mode of transportation)
-and just before I go to bed

I only get a few sentences done at a time, but they add up.

Shell said...

I write on my lunch hour. If it gets missed, I try to get some words down in the evening. But my day job as a copywriter for a marketing agency tends to render me incoherent by the evening, so lunchtime gets the best results. And then on Saturday mornings for a couple of hours.

manormusic said...

I'm a school teacher so I wake up at 4 am, finish hitting snooze at 4:15, get coffee and breakfast, then write from 4:45-6:45. Followed by 15 minutes to shower and dress so I can hop in the car by 7. I like morning writing so that it doesn't interfere with evenings with my other half.

reader said...

I need a large space of time to write. If I know I only have an hour to write, I can't really get into it, because I'm constantly looking at the clock on my computer, mentally subtracting how much time I have left before I've got to go do whatever I have to do.

Saturdays are great because they are lazy anyway and I can write until eleven o-clock in the morning in between doing laundry.

**Can I pose a a future question for the blog though? How MUCH do you write at one time? As in how many pages/words?

Others above me have stated that they write a few sentences here and there. I could never finish anything if that were the case.

J.J. Bennett said...

Well it's hard for me. I'm a Mom of three and work half the day. My best writing happens when I have hours to spend on it. Evenings when my husband watches a football game, weekends, in the car driving on long trips works really well for me. Just slide a DVD in for the kids and I put my headsphones on and I'm in a different world. I have a hard time getting into the zone with only a hour here or there. It makes me angry because I just start feeling it, and I have to get back to reality. I hate that more than anything.

Fawn Neun said...

Evenings after dinner, although it's not the most productive time for me. Weekend afternoons are best. My kids are older teens and my husband works those hours, so I tend to get at least something done. I work full time and do some charity work and some editing work, but I try to keep my writing time pretty high on my priority list. How *hot* I am at any given time governs a lot, too. I will warn my family that they're on their own if I have something burning to get on paper. They have enough of their own projects to be empathetic.

Book Maven said...

I write in the mornings and absolutely do not subscribe to the idea of writing "when inspiration strikes." (Not sure I even believe in inspiration).

It's a job and I do it best of a morning. Not too early though.

Lisa Dez said...

I joke with people that I have three jobs. My day job is my medical clinic, my weekend job is lecturing (I teach medical seminars internationally) and my night job is writing. Sometimes my night job runs right into my day job, though, because if my muse won’t shut up I can be up all night writing. Who need sleep?

Heather Lane said...

I write at night, after the kids are in bed, and during a mommy-imposed quiet time in the afternoon. And on my runs. I bring notecards. Some of my best writing happens when I'm running, no matter what time of day.

erinn said...

Whenever I get the time. It's a half a sentence here, a paragraph there. Maybe I can get four pages while my 20 month old is taking a nap. As much as I love to write, I'm not willing to sacrifice my sleep for it. I'm a teacher, a wife and a mom. Whatever time I have for myself I use to write, unless Facebook distracts me. Stupid highly addictive Facebook.

Matilda McCloud said...

I do a lot of writing in my head--I don't have a lot of time during the day or at night to write. I think it helps to work out scenes in my mind before committing them to the page. I have no rhyme or reason as to when I write--not a great way to be, but I can't do the "350 words a day" thing. Wish I could, but I can't.

Thermocline said...

I enjoy writing at night more than in the morning but I'm not sure the quality is any better. Either way, I get to write in my jammies.

Where seems to matter to me more than When in regard to quality. Out on a walk with a mini-recorder works best for me.

kathrynjankowski said...

Mornings are best, as long as I'm not sidelined by the paper or the NYT crossword puzzle.

Teresa D'Amario said...

I write after 8 pm. My best writing is usually done between 12:00 and 3 am. Thus, the best writing is done on weekends since I still have the evil day job! LOL.

Ulysses said...

I get up at 6 and write for about 1/2h before the rest of the house rises. I also write from 9pm-10pm, sometimes to 11pm if I haven't completed my day's goals. I find setting and committing to goals immensely helpful for focusing concentration and building a sense of accomplishment.

It's not much time, but I'm at my day job or commuting from 7:00am-4:30pm, and spare 4:30-9pm for children, household maintenance (dishes don't do themselves, and children become... unruly when I don't feed them supper).

Anonymous said...

If I'm going to sit down and edit or formally write a scene, I have to schedule a minimum two hour block, and I usually can't quit in less than four hours--I know, obsessive personality. So mostly, like some other evening owls, I write between 9 pm and 1 am, when things are a bit quieter. If it's only informal scribbling (i.e. inspiration struck), I'll write anywhere, anytime, using whatever notepad or paper scrap I can.

Marilyn Peake said...

Followed the link to Jeff Abbott’s interview. Great interview, meaningful insights into his world as a writer! It resonated with me how writing changed him as a person. I imagine the same is true for all writers. I know it’s true for me.

Amber Lough said...

I'm a nap-time writer. Having limited time forces me to write faster and procrastinate less.

Laura said...

I write when I'm inspired, but I should write at a set time every day. I am working part time at two universities, together which make up more than a full time teaching job. And it's all composition, but different types of composition, so lots of grading and lesson plans.

And then I have two kids. Well, three counting the husband.

I'm lucky if I can get papers turned by within a week and lesson plans together by the bell's ring.

I am one tired girl and one undisciplined writer as a result.

jimnduncan said...

Bascially, when I can manage quiet time amongst all the other household responsibilities. Which means mostly later at night.

wonderer said...

I like the idea of writing in the morning to get the most important thing out of the way first, as Jeff Abbott says, but I fear I don't have the discipline. Currently I am most productive after 9 PM (even on weekends).

S. Melville said...

usually the writing, and creative, day starts around dinner time, and some of my best work is done around midnight to two am.

L.H. Parker said...

As well as writing whenever the mood strikes, I usually write in the evening. I'm most creative between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m..

Jeff said...

Early in the morning, before I go to work and get lost in the day.

Calliopenjo said...

Hi Nathan,

I have a routine I follow everyday. I surf my normal sites first. That takes about an hour to read and answer where applicable. Then I write or rewrite as the case may be. All of this happens in the afternoon. When I can't think, I critt. Or I catch up on critting at night if I wrote in the afternoon.

Béatrice M. said...

It is a question I get often: I publish quite a bit, and people list for me all my obligations, and comment "how do you find the time". First I love that others would make the list for me... The response is : all the time, any minute I can. If I have 15, 30, 60 mns, I write. And take advantage of any breaks in the day, at work or outside.
But since I have a kid and work, the long time slot has not really happened for a few years... I learned to work in bits and pieces. Though it is hard for editing... And recently I had a chance (well, let's say a HUGE deadline) to work in a more concentrated way, and was so happy to re-discover that way of writing...

K.T. Koulos said...

I usually start after I finish HW, if I can make myself. in May, I wrote almost a whole 65,000 words but since then it's been slow. It's usually around 4:30 or 5 until whenever I feel like not writing. I'm actually about to start writing now because I have no homework.

caboozie said...

I usually write as soon as I come home from work, intermittently until bedtime. Sometimes, I'll sneak in some writing during my day job if something hits me and I don't want to forget it. On the weekends, I write throughout the day as I get a chance. After about 8 o'clock, I get too sleepy and I can't think, so earlier is definitely better.

Kristi said...

I'd also like to congratulate Nathan on his Blogger win for Best Publishing Industry Blog!!! I voted for you. :)

KayKayBe said...

I write 9-12 on M and W when my two year old is at preschool, and evenings, usually 9-12. Also nap times, if I'm lucky enough to get one:)

When I was writing my first draft, I would stay up until 2 or 3 am to finish a scens, but it's harder for me to do that for editing.

I've also tried the 'up at 5' thing, and it was exciting and productive, but I don't usually get to bed early enough to pull it off.

Lisa Iriarte said...

I have two kids, a husband, and a full-time job, not to mention two dogs and a goldfish. I find myself most driven to write when I'm supposed to be doing something else, like listening to the boss in a staff meeting. I get lots written then.

My wonderful husband, also an aspiring writer, understands completely, so we trade off kid responsibilities to give each other time to write.

It works. I have several completed manuscripts that I'm shopping.

ryan field said...

All the time.

I'm not joking either.

Literary Cowgirl said...

I write anytime I can. I write while my kids play in the bath, in the parking lot while my son is in preschool, on the way to town while my husband drives (if I am lucky enough to have him around), and nine times out of 10 I am writing at 0200 because that is the only chance I can get some peace and quiet. But really, I'm writing all of the time, though I may not be actually typing.

Vacuum Queen said...

I run through a LOT in my head in the mornings while I'm cleaning or vacuuming (which is why I named my blog that) and then somewhere after lunch I can squeak in an hour or so, but the major writing has to wait until 9pm and after. Sometimes it's not much and sometimes it's until the wee hours.

And that is why I'll never wake up early to write.

Or exercise, for that matter. :(

RKLewis said...

I write after I get home from my day job. I write six days a week, whether I want to, or not.

Kimberly Kincaid said...

Honestly...there are basically never times that every atom of my being would rather be doing anything other than writing! I do so dig it :)

I write at night because I have a full time job (mom) *and* a part time job (outside of the house), but I get my best work done early in the morning before anyone gets up. Maybe this is because I am totally groggy then, and the weirdest stuff tends to come out of me. Could be that it's the coffee. Who knows...

The only thing of which I am totally sure is that I seem to need a lot less sleep than I once thought I did.

Christine H said...
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Anonymous said...

Unless it's a very odd day and inspiration strikes while at school, I always write at night. When the rest of the house is a sleep, there is finally some peace and quite. I do my best writing really late. Something about the dark . . . .

Christine H said...
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Christine H said...
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Chudney Defreitas-Thomas said...

I write at night. Once the kids are in bed around eight, I have an hour sometimes three to write.

Crystal said...

For me, I have to have inspiration to write or else I won't write at all. If I have a story idea I want to work on, I write whenever I feel the urge to. I have to get my groove (or what I call my muse) going or I can't write at all. The juices have to flow or I am doomed :)

Any time of the day is fine for me, like I said I just need my muse to inspire me.

Crystal

Lis Garrett said...

I usually save my creative writing for after I've put all three kids to bed - 8:30ish. This gives me time throughout the day to outline in my mind. By the time I sit down at the computer, I'm ready to go! (until about 10PM when I collapse from exhaustion)

PS - I have a small goal of 1000 words per day.

Andrew the author said...

I have a full time job and go to school. That usually means inspiration festers when I'm in bed trying to get some sleep and dialogue or a scene develops like a tumor until, frustrated, I have to write it down.

Unfortunately, revision and editing muses do not nag the same way.

Awriter said...

This is a really good question.

When do I write? I write when I should be doing homework, when I should be doing something else, when I should be paying attention in class, but my fingers itch to write and who am I to not let the muse have her way?

I write late at night, early in the morning, at lunch, during supper, while I'm on the road, while I'm hanging out with friends, when I'm in class, when I'm at home supposed to be sleeping or cleaning, when I babysit, When I'm at my boyfriends house, when...Whenever I feel the need or the inspiration to write, I write. :)

Always having pens and pencils and paper on me is probably the reason why I can write so much :P

Dawn said...

My sleep schedule is crazy, but no matter when I sleep, I write when I wake up. It could be in the morning or after a late afternoon nap that allows me to stay awake all night. As long as the rest of the house is sleeping ... I'm good.

Jil said...

Walk the dog, workout at the gym, breakfast, e-mails then it's about ten and I write until about one or two. I must start in the morning though. I can't do much of anything useful in the afternoon. Didn't Hemingway etc. always write in the morning then meet in a bar afterwards? Wish I had a group to do that with - Starbucks would do though.

DanP said...

I typically write between 11 PM and 2 AM, bolstered by a warm beverage and music.

I also write during the day on weekends, but find this much more challenging.

Continuity is important for me; or perhaps inertia is a better description. Once I write regularly at one time it goes. But should I stop for a few days, cranking things up again is a problem.

A little every day. My motto.

Carol Piasente said...

It's an interesting question right now. When I was working full time, I worked only on the weekends, for a stretch of 2-4 hours. I was surprised at how I could pick up where I left off with that much time off in between. Now I am not working full time, and find it just as hard to settle on a time. I SAY I like to work first thing in the morning, but mid- morning to mid-afternoon is probably more like it. Often, the most creative solutions come right after sleep or on a walk.

Hat Man said...

Every molecule in my being wants me to write. I write first thing in the morning.

Anita Saxena said...

I brain storm while I drive. I edit during work. I write during my lunch break (which fortunately has averaged 1.5-2 hours lately).
When I'm not working, I like to write in the afternoons away from the house.
It just varies. It's crazy trying to juggle 3 different jobs, a relationship, and just LIFE.
But I enjoy every second that I can get away and write.

Nichole Osborn said...

I usually write late at night, when my family is sound asleep. But yesterday I found myself writing as I waited for my mom, while she was at an appointment I took her to.

Horserider said...

Usually when inspiration strikes. I like to write late at night best, but that's not possible unless it's a weekend. During the week my writing time comes in during the afternoon/evening, if at all. Most of my writing seems to get done on the weekends at the moment.

V L Smith said...

When I was working full time, my only writing time was my lunch hour. I took a chair up to an empty floor of the building and wrote in a notebook. Over the weekend I would transfer my written pages into the novel. Tedious, yes, but at least I was writing.

Since I lost my job a month ago, I set aside two hours in the morning and two in the afternoon, usually 9-11 and 1-3. These are my BOC hours and I write until the time is up. It's amazing how much more I accomplish because I'm focused.

--Deb said...

I can't bring myself to drag myself out of bed any earlier in the morning, so I get most of my writing done at night. I find it works best when my Inner Critic is too busy yawning to make snarky comments about the words I'm typing. The more tired she is, the more writing I get done ... although, it often needs a ton of editing the next day to make it sharper, because when she's yawning, so am I! But that's okay, editing is usually easier than getting that first draft down on paper.

Alpha Otter said...

I'm actually taking a break from my job solely to write next week - using some vacation time away from the office to just stay home and write all day for four days straight. My wife is visiting family, so it's good time to hole myself up.

After reading all these comments I realized that a majority of folks write late at night. Next time I write late at night, I will imagine legions of writers joining me. Every night thousands of deep sea oceanic creatures swim up to the surface of the ocean to feed and whatnot - they call it the largest migration on earth and it happens every flippin' night. A similar migration happens across America: laptop screens illuminating dark corners of rooms while households sleep, thousands of words bubbling up to the surface of computer monitors, gurgling coffee makers helping sustain the migration.

Pure awesomeness.

Robin said...

This has always been my greatest challenge. Would love to find a regular time that doesn't get shafted due to family demands. This summer I accomplished working from 6am to 7:30 as I didn't have to take my three kids to school, but now that school has started again, I'm trying out different time zones. Usually I'm a late night person so I'll go back to that. I'm just worried about getting up for the morning rush and falling asleep at my day job desk.

Jen P said...

I create snippets for my current work in my mind whenever something triggers what a character would say or look like or do...but I only get it into word starting around eleven at night and till two or three am. I need complete silence to write anything other than a few lines, and most importantly, to know that there is no time limit, so I can really get into it. Trying to do any during nap times is a waste of time, because I'm half listening out for waking children and know that I only have a limited window of opportunity. Plus after midnight I cannot vacuum, clean, cook etc, so I don't feel guilty, as I do if I write in the day.I fantasize that when my children will be full-time in school in a few years, I'll have so much more time, but I suspect I'll still write best in the wee small hours. 2010 I'm moving country and starting a course, so I have vowed to block two regular nights a week for nothing but the WIP.

Danielle Thorne said...

Late night.

Beth said...

Whenever I can! Lately, it's been in the morning when kids are at preschool. Before that, it was late at night when kids and hubby were in bed :) Great to read everyone's answers! Congrats on your book deal, btw!

bethmann15.blogspot.com

Jeffrey said...

I write in the morning, from 5:00 or so until maybe 10:00, then re-write and edit in the evenings... Weekends are varied.

Terri Tiffany said...

I do my best writing after lunch--when all is quiet in the house and I can go to my room and really get into it.

J L said...

I write every day, usually sneaking in some time from the day job & getting in an hour or two at night. It depends on my release schedule, too -- this year I had 5 books out, so that takes time out of my work-in-progress time. I also carry a digital recorder with me so I can 'write' while I walk, etc. I also write at poolside when I do laps (I tweeted about the waterproof paper I use & several folks commented about it -- I made some sales!)

Melissa Petreshock said...
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Melissa Petreshock said...

I usually write during the day for 3-5 hours while my husband is at work and my kids are at school. Once everyone is home there is no time to concentrate. I try to work at least a little bit at night, but I get distracted by other things on the internet too often like instant messaging my sister.

I pretty much average 1500-2000 words per day that I write. I rarely write on the weekends or holidays because everyone is home then too.

During the summer I have to block off time that the kids (ages 5, 8, 13) are not allowed to bother me while I'm writing and have my oldest help keep the younger two entertained.

BTW, I don't work aside from being a mom and a writer so I don't have to deal with a job interfering with my writing time. :-)

Jemi Fraser said...

I usually write late in the evenings. My job usually runs 10 - 11 hours a day. Then supper, family and finally writing - usually between 9 and 11. Unless, of course, I fall asleep on the laptop :)

The romantic query letter and the happy-ever-after said...

I write everyday barring incident and mostly at night because I’m an insomniac.
Simone

Melissa Pearl said...

I have a two year old son, so I write when he goes down for his nap. I'm lucky as he sleeps for about an hour a day. My husband and I also take turns on the weekend getting up. So on my morning off I spend the whole time writing. As hectic as life is, I feel like I do actually get quite a bit of time to write. Let's not discuss the state of my house though, okay?

Lucinda said...

New writing usually happens Friday mornings and Sunday mornings (my days off with nothing that can't wait 'til later)

I do most of my editing and rewrites whenever I get time after work and after any new writing is finished on days off.

While working (factory ten hours a day), I often think about my characters and plots and sometimes jot notes down.

Lucinda

Jen C said...

I'll start writing whenever these dudes in the house next door stop hammering. So, probably about 5pm. (obviously they've never heard of a great little invention called a nail gun).

Nicole Zoltack said...

I have an 11 month old. For the past two weeks, he's been wonderful, taking 2-3 hour long naps around 1 or 2 so I can get some writing then. Plus he sleeps through the night for another 10-12 hours! So I usually stay up late to write then, after hubby is in bed. I aim for everyday but there are just some days when time just flies by and I'm just too tired and I crash.

The Amateur said...

I rarely write anything unless I am alone and force myself to. Don't get me wrong, writing is why I breathe and I'd rather be an author than anything else, however I am fearful of success/failure. With that said, I often find time (withing the parameters I just mentioned) when I'm at school. In the library. It's kind of like being alone- it's very quiet. The only thing you really hear is the clacking of the keys, which really stokes the fire!

Anatole said...

I write when I can -- usually on weekends. Hopefully (if everyone could just leave me alone for a couple hours).

Richard Lewis said...

Still traveling, no time to read through the thread snd maybe somebody has already suggested it, but why not turn this into a poll?

It'd be interesting, but not truly informative...I think there are two types of writers in the world, those who prefer to write early and those who prefer to write late. (Well, actually, the more I know other writers the more I realize each has their own writing quirks/habits)

(PS: a post on those who borrow books and those who refuse to lend would be interesting.

Charles Lamb (died 1834): "The human species according to the best theory I can form of it, is composed of two distinct races, [those] who borrow and [those] who lend...Your borrowers of books--those mutilators of collections, spoilers of the symmetry of shelves, and creators of odd volumes."

I myself have "keeper" books I will only lend after borrower surrenders a child for collateral, but other books I freely give away or exchange.

Empress Awesome said...

Anytime I'm not in class, in the bathroom, doing homework or surfing the net... which is usually from 11 pm to 2 am. And actually (for the first two, at least) I write the scene in my mind and then hustle to get it down when I'm free.

Richard Lewis said...

I should add that my hat is off, even in this cold weather, to those who have to steal time* to write (such as a certain literary agent)...but if one could pick a time.

I forgot to say I'm a morning person, but when deadline looms, I'm a frantic every possible second type of person.

*make time, set aside time

Gerri said...

I write first thing in the mornings, sometimes before the crack of dawn. Whenever I can't complete my usual three or five pages I write in between other work and tasks until they're done. If that's impossible, I finish up at nights.

Christine H said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bamboo Grovers said...

I write weekdays between 1.10pm, straight after I drop my daughter at kindergarten, and 2.35pm, when I need to leave to pick the older kids up from school. During that time, my youngest daughter has nap time. She is getting older and doesn't want to nap so much anymore. Lately I've been putting her in her cot with a big pile of books and telling her she's so lucky that's it's reading time now. I fear my writing window is about to disappear...

Lorel Clayton said...

I have a minimum 500 word goal everyday (after a quick editing of the last day's writing) and I fit it in whenever I can: early morning, lunch, while dinner's cooking, late night...Usually, if I can find a good block of time, I get at least 1000 words done. Then on weekends my goal is 2000 words/day, but I'm really happy when I make 4000 :)

Marc said...

Reading these comments remind me that I have no excuse not to write...and that I should set myself some goals.

Lindsay said...

I'm a writer at my day job, so it usually takes me a few hours to unwind from my work projects before I can really focus on a personal project. And even then, it takes me about an hour to get in the zone. So somewhere at about 11pm I'm usually on a roll.

Chris said...

It depends on what I'm writing. If it's book or article writing, I have to be alone. I use the business hour time to work when no one is in the house. For blogging, I'll blog whenever I can, which is usually at night while watching TV. The style is more casual, and I'm not checking facts or timelines typically.

Lora said...

20 minutes in the evening. Before exhaustion sets in entirely.

Brian Crawford said...

For me, mornings are ideal for editing and revising, but evenings are best for pure writing, as if my brain needs to be a little tired and loose in order to drop its inhibitions and create. I've learned that I'm most creative when I stop distracting myself and just slow down and sit in the present with my thoughts, like I did as a child.

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