1. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    Day or night writer?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by OurJud, Sep 3, 2016.

    I know many of you good working folk don't have a choice, but to those who do, are you able to write at any time of the day, or do you find it almost impossible at certain times? I'm making exceptions for life's various interruptions.

    I'm up at around eight a.m. and write on and off until teatime (anywhere between five-thirty and six). However, once I've eaten my tea I find it virtually impossible to sit back down and write through the evening.

    I've never been able to put my finger on why. It's not that I'd rather be doing something else. In fact most evenings I find myself bored stupid. Television is crap and I'm rarely in the mood for a film, and yet despite all this I can't drag my arse back to the keyboard after tea.

    Maybe it's conditioning - my writing hours match those of a regular daytime job - but I do find it odd that even when bored I won't write in the evening.
     
  2. big soft moose
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    big soft moose Active Member

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    Personally i find i'm most creative between about 10pm and 1am (though sometimes i'll pull an all nighter and write through to about 6am) , however that does tend to lead to stream of consciousness writing with poor SPAG and replete with run on sentences so every now and then I go back and edit at a more reasonable time.

    I also work 8.30am to 5.30pm 5 days a week , so its lucky that my writing preferences fit well with the time available to me (although pulling all nighters is hell on the day job)
     
  3. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    How do you write from 08:30 to 17:30 five days a week if you have a day job?

    Ignore that, I read it wrong.
     
  4. SethLoki
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    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    I find writing quite draining—not so much drafting but revising and fleshing out sentences. Plotting in terms of difficulty I'd say falls between the two. Ideally I'd write from 10am till 2pm but my work commitments usually prohibit that—I rue each day I'm at the beck and call of commerce as at the time mentioned I'm sure I'm at my most productive. So I write in the evenings when I get a chance from 7pm till too tired to continue. Even in an ideal scenario I couldn't manage the 9 or 10 hours you state there (unless the off bits are longer then than the on bits). I'd just get too tired and too sloppy :meh:
     
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  5. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ooh I'm a lazy writer, so the off are definitely longer than the ons. Over the course of a ten hour session I'm probably writing, in a physical sense, about half of that.
     
  6. I.A. By the Barn
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    I.A. By the Barn A very lost time traveller Contributor

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    I write really early in the morning, around 4:30 am to 7:00 am. I might write in the evening if I have time as well but that doesn't happen much.
     
  7. MarcT
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    MarcT Member

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    As soon as I have my first cup of tea in the morning usually. In fact, I can't deal with anything before that first cup and a roll up.
    Then it´s some at home, then I carry on in my den which is supposed to be my computer shop, but I now see customers as an intrusion.
    Working for yourself has distinct advantages.
    I can never write past about 8 pm though. That´s time for video games or Netflix. Brain needs emptying.
     
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  8. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    I spend a couple of hours waking up (starting around 5:30 a.m.) and then have at it. Because of my wife's schedule (and because I care about spending time with her) I adhere to her schedule of work. Once she retires (or once I'm making enough so she can quit) I suspect my schedule will change. I used to keep musicians' hours and I really miss that.
     
  9. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    I can relate to that. Any more than four hours per day, five days per week and I hit an overload point. I burned out while I was in grad school and couldn't write for almost ten years after that, so I'm always wary of falling into that trap again.
     
  10. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Early in the morning before anybody else is up, and before phone calls start coming in. My brain is refreshed from sleep and that's when my best ideas come. If I can get a walk in before I start, that's even better.

    Once people start yakking at me and expecting me to do this or that, I lose the will to live, never mind the will to write.

    I can edit pretty much any time of day, though. As long as the phone isn't ringing or people aren't yakking at me, or there isn't something else I need to be doing instead.

    What am I saying here? I need PEACE in order to write. I don't mean soundproof peace, but the kind of peace that doesn't expect me to be doing something else at the same time.

    If I had peace 24/7, I don't know what time I'd choose. I might just sit down and write whenever I wanted to. Such luxury.
     
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  11. Brindy
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    Brindy Contributing Member Supporter

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    Full-time work and family life mean day-time writing is seldom. I can research and outline plan while others are around, but I need complete peace and quiet to write, so when others go to bed, I get creative. Fortunately, I don't need a lot of sleep to function well, so if I'm on a roll I can work through to 3am and still be ready for a day at work. My plan/wish is to buy a girlie-shed for the garden to use as my writing space. My partner is up for this and happy to put electric and heating in there, while I'll do the soft-furnishings and decorating so it doesn't look like the inside of a shed.
     
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  12. big soft moose
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    big soft moose Active Member

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    I'm totally with you there - I would love to have a man cave to write in rather than using a desk in the spare room or more often a laptop balanced on my knee in the lounge.
     
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  13. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    Slightly off-topic, but in that we've drifted into the realms of comfort, I'll say that I really wish my set-up was better. I don't know what it is about me, but I get very painful pressure points, and very quickly. My elbows hurt from resting on the arms of my chair while thinking. The underside of my lower arms hurt where they rest on the desk as I type. The backs of my thighs hurt where they hang over the edge of the chair. My right knee hurts where it keeps catching the edge of my desk. My arse gets numb.

    I think if I was truly comfortable when writing I'd get twice as much done.

    Wouldn't it be great if you could just sit there and think your words onto the screen?
     
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  14. deadrats
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    deadrats Active Member

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    We are basically just sitting there and thinking our words onto the screen. Typing really isn't that hard. But I do feel you when it comes to the physical pain. The other day I wrote for about ten to twelve hours straight. And I was so into my story that I didn't notice any signs of discomfort. But when I finished for the day, my back, shoulders and neck hurt so bad. It took me two days to feel better again. Worth it? Probably.

    I can write any time of day, really. I'm not so much a morning person like a lot of you, but I can write in the morning if I have to. I can also stay up all night writing. I've done both and everything in between. I haven't found too much of a difference in my creative output and time of day. I've often thought about giving myself more of a schedule. Maybe now that the summer is over I will slip into more of a routine. Since I write pretty often anyway I'm not too worried about it.
     
  15. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    I do find all this quite interesting, even if, as creator of the thread, I say so myself.
     
  16. Vanthu
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    Vanthu Member

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    I almost always write at school when I have nothing else to do, so it's between 7:15 and 2:15. I almost always write during homeroom, which is 7:15-7:45.
     
  17. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't think that would work for me. I have a hard enough time reigning my brain in to form coherent sentences as it is. If I gave it free access to the word processor, I doubt anything I write would be intelligible.
     
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  18. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes, there is that, but I meant if the system had some magical way of editing itself so that it sieved all the crap.
     
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  19. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    Stephen King wrote while squeezed into the laundry room off the kitchen until he made it big. Then he went for the Writing Room with the Big Fancy Desk (all caps here are intentional and illustrative) and he found he couldn't get anything done. He went back to the laundry room and has written there ever since.

    I like to think I'm more adaptable than that. Since I started writing in earnest back in the early 1990s, I've written in every type of space a cramped cubby where I couldn't stand up straight up to and including an isolated room specific to writing. ATM, we're living in a one-bedroom apartment and I'm normally set up in what is supposed to be the dining room with no isolation to speak of. In fact, I've written here on this forum several times about using our living room wall for story planning, so that gives you an idea of how little privacy I have. And this is where I've starting putting out my best work to date.

    Perhaps struggle is a big part of the process, even if that struggle is simply trying to keep my mind from wandering while life goes on around me.
     
  20. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    This reminds me of something a programmer friend once said...

    He proposed the addition of a new CPU-level command for computers, the DWIM command. It means: Do What I Mean.

    And this sounds like a perfect application of it. :)
     
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  21. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I write best between about 1am and 5am, which sucks because even if I stay up at weekends it throws off my sleep for the entire working week afterwards. I just can't afford to do that when I have a lengthy commute by driving and need to be alert.

    Weekdays are basically a write off (pun intended). I'm too drained to write when I get home from work. Most of my writing gets done on weekend evenings.
     
  22. thedrunkenwarrior
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    thedrunkenwarrior Member

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    I tend to be a night owl, but oddly enough I find I write more in the early morning. I can sit down and focus a little better, especially if I'm working outside.
     
  23. Wolmas
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    Wolmas Member

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    Setting is as important to me as time. For instance, I absolutely cannot work on a story at home. I can do research on a topic that I write about, but not actually contribute to the story. There are too many distractions. I've tried multiple places - namely parks and cafes. I learned recently that I can't do cafes with free Wi-Fi, tried it and got very little done. There is only one coffee shop at which I have been productive - It's open 24/7, and just a few blocks away, and as far as I know, the Wi-Fi isn't free. I remain ignorant to this on purpose. Surprisingly, it isn't the late hours of night, or the early hours of day that I get a lot done - It's usually during the afternoon.
     
  24. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    Dear Mr Wolmas. Please find enclosed our bill for your continued use of our WiFi. $345.56
     
  25. Albeit
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    Albeit Member

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    Someone said this before, and I agree wholeheartedly.

    Write at night or in the evening once it is dark outside, and edit in the light of the morning.
     
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