Monday, October 11, 2010

A silent time to write

I've read so many books about writing that after awhile, they all bleed together like watercolors in a painting so that I can't tell where one piece of advice begins and the other ends. But maybe that's not so surprising since successful writers often repeat much of the same information. Most will tell you to write daily, to study to increase your craft, and to read a ton of books in your genre, etc. One thing they also mention is writing time. It seems like the writing time of preference is early in the morning before life gets moving, and there are lots of writers who got up at 5 A.M. to churn out their quotas before their families are up for the day.

This doesn't work for me, but I think I'm in the minority. I usually write late at night, after all the kids are in bed. This is a silent time in our house, and I'm able to let myself go and have some fun with my characters. In the morning, I have kind of a daydreaming time where I work on plot ideas. They percolate in my brain during the day and I put them down solidly in the eleventh hour, so to speak.

Now I know that real writers should be able to shut out life at will and write like the wind with ten kids in the house, loads of laundry awaiting their tender mercies, and dinner cooking on the stove. I can write under those conditions, and I sometimes do. In fact, you really have to train yourself to do this if you're a mom, because you'll never see any progress if you don't. But my preference, having grown up in a very quiet home in the remote countryside, often spending many hours alone, is to write during the silent time.

I'm curious. When is your favorite writing time? Is your silent time physical, or is it a mental state in which you don't allow yourself to be impacted by surrounding activity?

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