It’s All in the Timing

   Posted by: Faith   in Rye Thoughts

A typical morning for me includes, in sequence:

  • Waking up (shocker, I know)
  • Coffee
  • Checking email, Facebook, LibraryThing, blog feed, Twitter, various forums I’m members of
  • Reviewing stories for Flash Me
  • Wandering about online
  • Opening various work pieces & staring at them for awhile
  • At 10am, the bird gets woken up & fed
  • Rinse & repeat with the checking email, etc sequence…

So when do I get around to actually writing fiction? Well, more often than not, I don’t. I usually only get fresh fiction writing done on days that I head to our local cafe and sit down determined to type. I have excellent focus there, and I always get lots done. But as I’ve been trying to reorient and reorganize myself this fall, I had to take a hard look at how my time was spent and admit that one or two afternoons a week just isn’t going to cut it. I have too many ideas, too many aspirations, to produce so little.

I thought about NaNoWriMo. Every November, I manage to punch out 50,000 words in a month — how is it that I can manage to produce so much in that one month, and then fall off drastically for the rest of the year? Unacceptable.

At the urging of my husband, and prodding of my own heart, today I started a new plan. I’m taking a page out of James Scott Bell’s book, and am going to try and get my writing done in the morning. According to his Twitter feeds, he always writes 500 words in the morning, no matter what. His daily quota is 1000 words, so if he can get 500 done at the very beginning of the day, then getting the second 500 is a much less daunting task when the entire remainder of the day stretches out before him.

I agree! And while I may be bleary eyed, cranky, fuzzy-headed, and rather immobile in the mornings, for whatever reason, that’s the time my Muse loves best. Maybe that’s because my Self isn’t fully conscious yet, so she’s able to communicate with me best before my left brain takes over for the rest of the day.

Today was day #1 of the plan. The goal is 1000 words in the morning, and then even if I get precious little accomplished during the rest of the day… at least I’ll have that 1000 words to be proud of, and which will accumulate over time. If for some reason my Muse sleeps in one of these mornings, that 1000-word quota can be transferred to my ebook writing or SEO article creation. It doesn’t matter what… I just need to produce, and do it at a time that I know works best for my own mind & body.

Some people work best at night, or in the evenings after dinner. Some work best on weekends. Everyone is different, so my question for today is, when does your Muse prefer to come out to play?

Tags: , , ,

This entry was posted on Friday, September 25th, 2009 at 2:34 pm and is filed under Rye Thoughts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

3 comments so far


My muse prefers the night. I wish it didn’t because I’m oh so tired some days. I won’t complain, though. I’m just glad she shows up at all!

September 25th, 2009 at 4:26 pm

I share your struggle, Faith. My Muse also works well in the morning, but I can write at night as well, if left in peace. Peace doesn’t always come easy when you have little ones in the house – even bigger little ones! I can’t imagine writing in a cafe environment – need quiet when I write. And I’ve tried aiming for so many words a day. It can work, but I got out of all routines over the summer while my kids were off school. Hopefully, I can resume this effort now. Thanks for the encouragement and example.

September 25th, 2009 at 6:13 pm

LW – Mine used to prefer the night! But now that I have a husband who likes watching TV together in the evenings, I just end up falling asleep… haha…

Susan – I think for me, the amount of noise in a cafe is like ‘white noise’ — there’s so much of it that I can easily block it all out and the wall of background sound helps me to concentrate. If I’m at home with the radio on, or someone on the phone, I’m distracted and can’t get anything done. For whatever reason, the cafe is ideal for me… and not just because of their delicious lattes :) Good luck with getting back on schedule in your own writing!!!

September 25th, 2009 at 7:28 pm

Leave a reply

Name (*)
Mail (will not be published) (*)