FIND THE RIGHT TIME TO WRITE, AND THEN...
by Jan Christensen
Some writers don’t seem to have any trouble carving out time most days to write. But my impression is that most of us do have some difficulty with that aspect of “the business.”
When you dissect it, the writing process is not as straightforward as it would seem. Yes, at some point we have to sit down and “open a vein,” letting the words come to us either agonizingly slowly, in a huge gush, or somewhere in between.
But there’s some things to be done before that even happens. Number one is to find the best time of day to write, and number two is to figure out if you’re a plotter or a pantster. And then, you do have to sit down in the chair (or stand at the desk if you’re into that way of writing now) and open that vein.
Finding the right time for you every day can be tricky. I’ve met some writers who thought they couldn’t write in the morning (“I’m not a morning person!”), until they had no other choice but to get up before everyone else and write for an hour or so without interruptions. I’ve met writers who swore they couldn’t bear to get on the computer after working at one all day and do some of their own writing. But once they decided to take a short break after dinner and got to it, they could. Others didn’t want to give up their lunch hours to write.
If you’re having trouble finding the best time for you to write, I suggest you try each one of those times for two weeks and see how it goes. Keep track of word counts every day. Then you will simply have to pick the time where you did the best.
Now, if you like to plot your stories out, you’ll have to spend time doing that. Will that be during the hour or so you found to be your best writing time, or will it be at some other time? Can you perhaps sit for ten or fifteen minutes at the beginning of each writing session and plot out what you want to accomplish that day? Or do you need to have the whole project plotted before you even start? If the latter, you’re going to have to decide how to get that plot crafted.
Most successful writers I know or know about do have a set routine. Hemingway would go to his office every morning and stay there for four hours. Mary Higgens Clark got up an hour every morning before her children awoke and wrote. Repeating the same routine very day becomes hypnotic.
Just remember. You cannot edit something that’s not written. So, you have to figure out how to get ‘er done.
Jan Christensen grew up in New Jersey. She bounced around the world as an Army wife, and in Texas when her husband retired. After traveling for eleven years in a motorhome, she settled down in the Texas Coastal Bend.
Published novels are: Sara’s Search, Revelations, Organized to Death, Perfect Victim, Blackout, Buried Under Clutter and most recently, A Broken Life.
She's had over sixty short stories appear in various places over the last dozen years. She also writes a series of short stories about Artie, a NY burglar who gets into some very strange situations while on the job.
Learn more at her website: www.janchristensen.com
Buy links for A Broken Life:
Barnes & Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-broken-life-jan-christensen/1120729427?ean=9781502974624