The Best Time to Write


writer time

We all have our favorite time to write, our routines and habits, and our difficulties with finding a quiet place to work.  And we all talk about these things pretty often – it was just a little while ago that I wrote a post about the ideal writing spot.  But there’s something more important than an ideal writing spot, and that’s an ideal writing time.  

Time is the biggest complaining point writers have when it comes to actually writing.  It’s important to find the right time for you, and to do that you need to think about more than just your busy day, you need to think about how much busier it might get when things pop up that you haven’t even thought about.

For people with normal working hours here is a breakdown of the three main times you might write.

Morning, Pre-Work.  If you’re serious about writing every single day and willing to dedicate yourself to making your dream come true this is the best time to write.  There’s no chance that something comes up and you have to cancel your writing time later in the day, no chance that you get caught at happy hour and are too drunk to write when you get home.  Of course, it’s one thing to talk about waking up early and set the alarm, but it’s another thing entirely to actually get out of bed an hour early instead of hitting the snooze button and making that stupid ass honking noise go away.

Work Break, Lunch Time, Right After Work.  Another great time to make sure you get your writing in is during a break, lunch, or directly after work.  There’s still a chance that something comes up, but not as big of a chance as writing later in the day.  You can write during your lunch break and eat at your desk.  Or eat while you write and get grease all over your keyboard.  Or eat and think about writing and pretend that counts.

Late Evening, Night Time, Before Bed.  I know a lot of people who only like to write at night, but it’s also the time where you have the greatest chance of missing a day or two of writing each week.  Like I said before, you might get too drunk at happy hour.  Or maybe you’re just too tired.  Maybe a Friends marathon or playoff game is on TV and the next thing you know it it’s 1 in the morning and you have to wake up in five hours.  If this is when you want to write, go for it, just make sure you’re willing to put extra effort into making sure that the late night time slot stays open for you to do serious work.

Obviously some people have a specific time where they write best and don’t like to write during any other part of the day, but we put so much thought into the books we’re writing that it would be a shame if we didn’t put a good amount of thought into when we can actually write them.


15 comments on “The Best Time to Write”

  1. Routine is my worst enemy. I’ve written at just about all the times suggested in this and the one I like best is in the morning when I’m NOT working my day job, or if I’m working I tend to use the evening, but really I’ve never found a perfect time. It’s mostly about making sure I’m putting pen to paper often enough to come up with something. It’s only when I’m doing nothing at all that I start to worry about it.

    1. I agree, Tommy. I don’t really follow a routine I write when I need to. I have the luxury of being able to write occasionally at my day job. As far as time of day I find late at night when is when my emotions and brain are most available and receptive. I enjoyed this post.


  2. Interesting post. I always find the best time for me is during the evening just when I’m about to go to bed and then out pops an irresistible idea. Sometimes finding the right time to write can be very annoying.

  3. Natalie Goldberg suggests scheduling in writing a week in advance. You don’t have to write at the same time each day, but if you put some times to write in your calendar, then make sure to write then. That way you can sometimes write at night, but sometimes write in the morning if you know you are going to happy hour later with friends.

  4. Very nice post.The ideal time to write is of course the time when your concentration is sharpest and most complete. and, when you have energy, and you’re at your best emotionally too, whatever distractions are taking place around you. I know writers that are so experienced that they can achieve that state at will and at any time of day or night and under any circumstances.If it’s two hours at a desk at 3:00 a.m. that’s fine, but if it’s five minutes on a crowded train during rush hour then it’s five minutes on a crowded train, and that’s fine. The point is solely and simply to get a piece of work done. I look forward to your future posts.

  5. Morning pre-work is my time, so it’s great to see the encouraging words here about it. But if you’ve had a late night, for whatever reason, man, is it difficult to get out of bed! But we all know that writing takes discipline and organization, right?

  6. Very early morning and late at night are my favorite times to write. In the middle of the day, everything is crazy, and I have very little time to concentrate and be by myself. But before everyone is awake, and after everyone has gone to bed, there is a peace and a stillness that I can’t resist taking advantage of!

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