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Are You Writing at the Wrong Time of Day? By Rochelle Melander

file1761306949777Dear Writers,

Last week, Chuck Wendig wrote a great post on the quantity and quality of self-published books, Slushy Gut Slog: Why the Self-Publishing S$*t Volcano is a Problem.  He said, “An author on Facebook the other day noted, quite correctly, that writing is a craft and as a craft it can be evaluated fairly easily.” Well said!

As a writer, reader, and coach—my job is to help you make sure your book is good enough to stand out from the slog, whether you want to self publish or submit your book to agents. That’s why I’ve invited editor Amanda Valentine to come to this month’s Write Now! Mastermind class to talk about how you can revise and edit your own work. Join us on Wednesday, February 19 at 12:00 PM CST. If you’re not yet a member of the Write Now! Mastermind class, you can sign up here.

Happy Writing! Rochelle, the Write Now! Coach


Me and My Shadow, at the Urban Ecology Center Sundial

Me and My Shadow, at the Urban Ecology Center Sundial

Are You Writing at the Wrong Time of Day? By Rochelle Melander

The right thing at the wrong time is the wrong thing. —Joshua Harris

According to scientific research, our bodies peak for physical, social, and intellectual tasks at specific times of day. Researchers offer broad suggestions about when we do best at various activities. For example, many of us do well at intellectual tasks during the late morning while we excel at creativity in the evening when we are tired and more open to new ideas.

But even scientists admit that peak working times are different for each of us. Though some people can be classified as early birds or night owls, many people don’t fit easily into any category. As a writing coach, I encourage clients to examine their own life in order to discover when they write best. Here’s how:

+For the next two weeks, try working at different times of day. Keep a journal of your work. For each session, note the time, where you are writing, how the writing went, and any important external details. Additional details might include preparing beforehand, working in a quiet house, or trying to meet a deadline. Did you feel engaged? Creative? Did you experience flow or did you encounter blocks?

+Review your writing journal. When did the most productive writing sessions occur? When did your second best writing sessions happen? Did anything besides time of day contribute to your productivity?

Once you know when you write best, schedule your writing during those times of the day. Keep your second-best times as a back up for those gnarly days when your precious time gets taken up by drama or you need the extra hours to complete assignments.

What I learned from my writing journal: I’m a morning writer. I’ve always believed that if I squander those early morning hours, I’m done for the day. But after reading this article in 2012, I played with my schedule. I wrote at different times of day just to see if I could be productive at other times of day. I was surprised and delighted to discover that I enjoyed drafting work in the afternoon and evening. But I also found that I had a hard time polishing work at night—I was too tired. I encourage you to play with your writing schedule, too. You might find enough extra time to finish a new novel this year!

Your turn: When do you write best? Why?

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