The best time of the day.

Welcome back to another blog hop, with #OpenBook. Here’s this week’s prompt.

Is there a certain time of day when you are most creative? When do you handle the business side of writing? What’s your favourite time of day?

I write early in the morning and sometimes late at night. By early, I mean 5 a.m., when I have just awoken and my mind is at its freshest. I always started work early and got into the routine of waking at 5, now I’ve retired I can’t shake it off. Plus, there are no distractions at that time. I can just sit at the keyboard and get lost in whatever’s happening in my head. Even though I can only type with a few fingers, most days I manage to get a couple of thousand words down.

How many of them will still be there when I start the job of editing them into a form suitable to be read is debatable. But as someone once said, you can’t edit a blank page, so down they go.

I have tried using speech to text software but to be honest, I think it takes me more time to tidy it all up and put in proper punctuation than it does to write it in the first place. Probably because I talk too fast and ramble on without a break. I also get excited and forget to say things like comma or new line.

I accept that the dictating concept is handy for the time when inspiration strikes and I haven’t got the chance to type, (I have a dictation app on my phone) but for long passages, I find that typing is better. The fact that I type slower than I think comes in handy as it forces my mind to slow down, which dictating doesn’t.

Besides, at 5 a.m., me talking into a microphone might not be a good thing.

Another great advantage of getting my writing done early is that, by breakfast time, I’ve done a reasonable amount and the rest of the day is mine. I might take a look at social media but I’m not a great one for it. I have been on the receiving end of far too much trolling and nastiness for my liking (for some reason, there are people who take offence at my presence and don’t like to see me advertising my books). Because I just want a quiet life, I keep to myself. At least it means that I don’t spend ages mindlessly scrolling, then feeling guilty for wasting time.

I will try to do a bit more writing in the evenings, normally that’s blog posts and newsletters, anything official connected to writing or answering emails. If I have had an idea, or made a note during the day, I’ll try and get it down here.

Whenever it happens, my absolute favourite time of day is when I’m in the flow. Ideas are pouring out and, because I never know what’s going to happen until I type it, I get the same feeling that I hope a reader will have as they come to an exciting bit. I’ve been known to gasp in surprise or even well up as I’m reading it back.

Not that I’d ever admit it.

Let me know what you think about this week’s subject.

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6 Responses

  1. phil huston

    I prefer the early AM, but in truth I will find a way to work if somehow I am granted what Covid has removed – peace. Where no one brings me Pinterest kitchen remodels bigger than the house, garden projects, job complaints or general observations – the equivalent of Chinese water torture. I can work with a dog that needs to go out and pee occasionally but the constant interruptions, whatcha doin’ or proximity to web conferences etc… Jesus. Everyone was like, wow, we’re at home, look at all we’ll get done. Wrong. So my answer has morphed from early to whenever there’s peace and quiet. Even if I have to get out of the house and manufacture some in a lumber yard parking lot.

    • Richard Dee

      A friend used to write while sitting in his car during his lunch hour. I’ve typed short stories on my phone waiting for delayed appointments (not recommended). Wherever you can shut the world out and get the words recorded will do.

  2. Lela Markham

    Ah, the mornings. Very quiet and peaceful, perfect for sleeping. I prefer writing at night. Fortunately, my husband is one of those people who needs about 9 hours of sleep a night and I only need about 6 1/2, so often I can just let him go to bed and get a couple of hours when the house is quiet. And, generally, my day has given me thoughts that are perfect for apocalyptic fiction — not so much for the fantasy I’m trying to finish now.

    • Richard Dee

      I spent so many years of my working life surviving on spells of 5 or 6 hours sleep as a maximum. Ironically, now I’m retired and can get up when I like, 5 a.m. is my limit.

  3. Roberta Eaton Cheadle

    I am also an early riser, Richard, and I also like to write in the mornings and get it done.

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