Where My Time To Write Is

Where My Time To Write Is
Image provided by Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claude_Monet

If I asked when is my time to write, I’d have had an answer–at least I used to have the answer. I had my daily plan set up so that I wrote from ten in the morning to twelve noon and from three in the afternoon to four thirty. These weren’t and still aren’t the only times I write, of course, but when I had a full schedule, it was these blocks of time that stayed in place.

At the worst, that’s the way it was supposed to be Monday through Friday. In spite of all the precautions I took to keep myself adhered to an agenda, I lost sight of these appointed times. The infernal phone blared its ring at ten thirty in the morning, just as I’d begin to feel myself getting submersed in the scene I was working on that day. Another intrusion was calls I’ve been obliged to make that are expected at a specific time. Where my writing time was had been playing havoc with other parts of my life.

Yes, I’ve already discussed the possibilities in previous posts about alleviating these times on the phone. However, how does one tell her aging mother not to expect a call that coincides with elderly woman’s schedule? How does one tell her son to find another more convenient time to call when he’s feeling so alone? These people are dear loved ones who should be given the ultimate of consideration.

I can only assume that my plight is trivial to what many writers contend with on a daily basis. After all, I don’t have a job other than household duties to take up my time during the bulk of the day. Many writers are juggling a job outside the home, household chores, and a family of at least three or more. I’m past all that, commencing upon my senior years. My spouse is usually willing to work around my schedule when he’s home.

I had set up these morning and afternoon sessions at those specific times as a result of my determination of when I was feeling the most creative and productive. It had been taking me a while to awake fully in the mornings regardless of the fact I’m usually out of bed by six o’clock. I didn’t feel  capable of intelligently tackling my WiP until two large mugs of coffee had been poured down my throat and I had a shower.

Yet, in the past few weeks, I’ve found myself writing as early as eight thirty, which is just twenty minutes after my husband leaves for work. By the time ten thirty or eleven rolls around, I’m ready for a substantial break, which is when I can take and give those calls the attention they deserve. This also means I’m not sloughing over chores like I used to do trying to get back to my WiP. I can usually resume my position at the keyboard by one or one thirty in the afternoon, giving myself at least another hour I didn’t have before so I can switch gears to start fixing dinner.

The days when this schedule doesn’t work is when I have appointments or when it’s the weekend. Therefore, I still lose time at the keyboard. I’m beginning to think of these intervals as creativity recharging stretches. It’s remarkable how a purposeful change in attitude can change many things all the way around. Although I still feel the pull to my desk on these days, I’m also more aware of the increased inspirational level when I finally get my butt in the chair.

As I sit here writing this out, it occurs to me that this recent revision of general mood may also be associated with the time of year. The sun comes up earlier and vanishes later. The scenery outside isn’t that drab depressing gray and brown. Color does make such a difference.

I was contemplating putting a calendar on the wall behind my computer desk, but after this minor epiphany, maybe a Monet knockoff would be more instrumental for my sessions with my WiP. I suspect this may be more important than what it appears to be. If I had the money for a laptop, I could take my writing almost anywhere. I could enjoy the sunshine and soak up some vitamin D while I type away. True, I could do the same with pen and notebook too, but I probably wouldn’t be able to read my own handwriting. Monet is one of my favorite artists. I find most of his work whimsical and bright. Having a cheap copy of one of his paintings on the wall I face when I work is bound to have a marvelous effect on my spirit as I pound on the keys.

§

Where is your writing time? Have you kept your writing schedule the same, or have you changed it as your life has changed?

“The greatest discovery of our generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind. As you think, so shall you be.” William James

 

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26 Replies to “Where My Time To Write Is”

  1. When I wrote, I found it easier between 2-4 pm and then 7-10 pm but I always had a pad and pen handy in case inspiration hit at other times. Like you I wasn’t always sure I could read my own writing though so I’d have to get it down as quickly as possible before needing the codebreakers. Often these work slots are just comforters though and we can train ourselves to be flexible with other times. We can’t always write on demand anyway, so learn to do it when we can.

    Good luck with sorting a schedule that suits you and with completing the WIP.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

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    1. Yes, David, flexibility in time is the key. With me being home all day long, this shouldn’t be much of a problem, and usually isn’t anymore. I’ve learned to insist that time take a backseat do my creative juice flow.

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  2. Glynis, you seem to have worked out a schedule that works for you most of the time. Nothing in life is so stagnant that we can count on absolute adherence to a clock. Certainly not my life. I think the bigger question might be, are you meeting your writing goals? Good luck to you as you work out the details but I think you’re on the right track.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Over twenty-five years ago, I was adhered to schedule like Elmer’s glue. I worked from 8 – 4:30 Monday through Friday, did my grocery shopping on Thursday night, filled up the gas tank on Tuesdays after work, did my laundry on Saturday mornings, et cetera. I still have a set day for grocery shopping, laundry, and house chores. I’m a true creature of habit. Still, since four years ago, when I finally got serious about my writing, I’ve been slowly learning about the benefits of being flexible.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It must be the peace and quiet of the morning that compels you to start writing early a bit after eight in the morning. I am not a morning person, and my brain is generally foggy in the morning no matter how early and well I slept the night before. I usually like to write from 6pm onwards up until sometime past midnight. Thought I must say it can be hard when I’ve had a long day at work.

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    1. I was doing all of my writing in the evening when my husband was working second shift. Now that he’s working a normal day shift, I’ve had to readjust. I guess I’m pretty flexible with time due to having to switch wakeup times and sleep times accord to when my spouse is working. The most difficult switches were when my husband was active duty military, working twelve-hour shifts that rotated.

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  4. I usually write in the evening, after work, after dinner, after time spent with the dog. Again, I’m not working on a longer work, so I don’t have to reset my focus, just pick a topic and go.

    When I get interrupted, sometimes losing the entire evening to a phone call, I remind myself that, without those experiences, I might not have anything to say.

    Of all the places I can write, I find outdoors to be impossible. I can barely write comments on peoples’ blogs when I’m sitting out with our dog. There are too many things to see and hear, but I wouldn’t trade the time.

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    1. I wonder if being outside with a laptop would effect me the same way. I know that while sitting here at my desk with the window right next to it, I do have a tendency to gaze out to see what’s going on outside on our street.

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  5. I think ‘just writing’ is more important than an allotted time. Inspiration doesn’t go by a clock so you maybe shouldn’t. I try to respond to my muse. I drop everything and write when I get the urge. Like you, I work at home so that’s easier for us than others. Cleaning is much more flexible than writing, innit?

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    1. Yes, cleaning can be done almost anytime as long as it gets done. Often I use it for a little exercise during the five-minute breaks I take. So far this new schedule is working all right. How it works when fall hits may be something else entirely.

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  6. I’ve currently committed to a half hour a day six days a week. It’s not much, but it’s enough to work on short articles I can submit to various magazines for consideration. The nonfiction group I’m in does a monthly FOCUS challenge (focus on one course until success) that has been really helpful in keeping me committed to bettering my writing habits.

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    1. I should get back to writing articles so I can get myself published again. Sometimes I think the reason for me dragging my feet is that subconsciously I doubt my ability too much. Other times, I’m thoroughly convinced it’s because I haven’t found a topic that appeals to me and to the public. I know if I could get my derriere in gear on this, I could write two or three a week, including a couple of edit sessions on each.

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  7. I’ve written in dentist’s offices and on lunch breaks when teaching. Morning, noon and night–whenever I can squeeze it in, but I try to write every day during the week. My writer’s mind is always on. I think it’s because I wasted so many years being afraid to write–I have catching up to do!

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    1. It’s marvelous that you’re able to write anywhere. When I’m in a dentist office or a doctor office, I’m a bundle of nerves. Waking up by six am every day, writing at night is nearly impossible for me. My eyes are blurry before I’ve got three hundred words down.

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  8. I haven’t worked out a set time to write consistently. A lot of my writing time depends on what is going on throughout the day. Sometimes, I’m able to write during my breaks or lunches. But even then, it takes a good amount of effort to get me to sit down and write something. Right now, I’m trying to find a time that works best for me; a time that I can write without distractions. I haven’t found that time yet, but I know it’s going to require discipline and sacrifice.

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    1. George, I wish you luck with your writing dilemma. Where you are now is where I was about a year and a half ago. I had to decide if I wanted this kind of life badly enough. I understand about the juggling of work and loved ones, and trying to find that writing time somewhere between it all. I think you’ll find it eventually.

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      1. Thank you. You’re right about deciding on whether I want this life. For years, I struggled with this question, counting the costs of everything writing entails. I was turned off of it after I graduated because I felt like like I wasn’t getting anything out of it. Nothing was coming to me. Nothing was easy when it came to writing. A couple of years ago, I decided to pick it back up. But I decided that it wouldn’t be a fad; that I was going to be serious about writing.

        So, here I am. No writing schedule. No WIP. And again, I question what I want to write. But I’m not giving up on it.

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        1. George, right now I’m also doing some essay writing. Many magazines are looking for writers in this wide category. It give several options and doesn’t require long-term commitments. Maybe this would be good for you too?

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    1. My utmost obstacle is that whether I type or handwrite, the going is slow. One-handed typing is faster than the pen but… As a lefty, my handwriting is not only atrocious to read, but is slower than if I were a righty. I wish I could type even half as fast as the words come to me.

      As with most challenges, such is life.

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  9. I marvel at anyone who can write anywhere, especially where life’s distractions are in play. Tried a coffee shop, tried sitting outside. Nope. A cat nagging at me–or even both at once is enough to put me off.
    I like afternoons. Mornings, I need to unwind; evenings I’m too tired. Mostly blogging eats away time but I haven’t written a thing in a month–life has left a few boulders to climb. No time for writing.

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    1. My oldest cat, Miya, doesn’t usually bother me. She lays next to my chair patiently waiting for me to pet her, which I do when I’m trying to think of how to word something. The other 2 cats prefer my husband so they’re usually sleeping when I write.

      I’ve found out mornings are better for me, despite the sleepy still being in my eyes and my body screaming for a shower.

      What you’ve been going through lately is more like high rocky mountains instead of boulders. Eventually, although not soon enough of course, this too will pass. ❤

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