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Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday Speak Out!: Are You Writing at the Wrong Time of Day?

by Rochelle Melander

"The right thing at the wrong time is the wrong thing."—Joshua Harris

According to scientific research, our bodies peak for physical, social, and intellectual tasks at specific times of day. Researchers offer broad suggestions about when we do best at various activities. For example, many of us do well at intellectual tasks during the late
morning while we excel at creativity in the evening when we are tired and more open to new ideas.

But even scientists admit that peak working times are different for each of us. Though some people can be classified as early birds or night owls, many people don’t fit easily into any category. As a writing coach, I encourage clients to examine their own life in order to discover when they write best. Here’s how:

+For the next two weeks, try working at different times of day. Keep a journal of your work. For each session, note the time, where you are writing, how the writing went, and any important external details. Additional details might include preparing beforehand, working in a quiet house, or trying to meet a deadline. Did you feel engaged? Creative? Did you experience flow or did you encounter blocks?

+Review your writing journal. When did the most productive writing sessions occur? When did your second best writing sessions happen? Did anything besides time of day contribute to your productivity?

Once you know when you write best, schedule your writing during those times of the day. Keep your second-best times as a back up for those gnarly days when your precious time gets taken up by drama or you need the extra hours to complete assignments.

What I learned from my writing journal: I’m a morning writer. I’ve always believed that if I squander those early morning hours, I’m done for the day. But after reading this article in 2012, I played with my schedule. I wrote at different times of day just to see if I could be productive at other times of day. I was surprised and delighted to discover that I enjoyed drafting work in the afternoon and evening. But I also found that I had a hard time polishing work at night—I was too tired. I encourage you to play with your writing schedule, too. You might find enough extra time to finish a new novel this year!

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Write Now! Coach Rochelle Melander is an author, a certified professional coach, and a popular speaker. Melander has written ten books including Write-A-Thon: Write Your Book in 26 Days (And Live to Tell About It). As the 
Write Now! Coach, she teaches professionals how to write books fast, get published, and connect with readers through social media. Get your free subscription to her Write Now! Tips Ezine at

Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!

1 comment:

  1. I was a morning writer until I had a baby and then I had to become a writer whenever I has a chance. But I agree that there are certain things that are harder to do at different times of day because we are tired!


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