Choosing the best, or least worst, time slot to schedule your writing

In my book and in a previous post I discussed the issue of setting up a writing schedule. A little bit of planning and thoughtfulness about scheduling can make the difference as to whether you write or not.

Hemingway wrote in the morning, and he didn't like to be disturbed during that time.

Many people find writing to be hard work that requires their best concentration and energy level. Mornings are frequently a good time for that, with an added benefit being that the work is done early and you don’t have to think about it for the rest of the day. But mornings are unavailable for many people with families and jobs.

A scientist in one of my groups had to work in her lab every morning, so she began the routine of writing her papers in the late afternoon, just before she went home. It wasn’t perfect because she had lower energy at that point, but it was beneficial because her experimental work was fresh in her mind and everyone else had left by then.

If you have a plan to write early but then postpone the work for later in the day, you greatly increase the odds that nothing will happen. If you have this postponing habit, I recommend you adopt the rule that you have to wait until the next day to write if you miss your scheduled time. This spares you the stress of disappointing yourself day after day, and it implicitly communicates that writing is a privilege rather than a burden.

For those who come alive after sundown, the advantages of late-night writing might include a quiet house and fewer interruptions and distractions. Late sessions that run too long can negatively affect your next day, however.

Sometimes jobs, families, and rifle cleaning will unavoidably suck up your best energy, and you have to make the most of whatever time is left, with whatever energy you have.


About David Rasch

Author, psychologist, speaker, teacher, coach, workshop leader
This entry was posted in Common Writing Block Problems, Famous writers, Tips for overcoming writer's block and procrastination and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Choosing the best, or least worst, time slot to schedule your writing

  1. Fakewoman says:

    I gather from the constancy of your writing that you need a rifle

  2. Just a note: your link “setting up a writing schedule” leads not to the desired post but to your wordpress login page.

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