Productivity: Discover Your Peak Writing Time

This one is for my fellow writers, especially the newbies just trying to get words on paper!

If anyone had told me before I was a writer that peak writing time was a thing, I probably wouldn’t have believed them. After all, I had spent my life working the hours given to me—everything from 9 to 5 as a hazardous waste inspector to an overnight stint as an ER veterinary technician—so I assumed productivity was expected no matter the time.

Boy, was I wrong. Writing draws from your creativity, and your creativity has peaks and valleys. And those peaks can change over time, so whenever I hit a roadblock with my writing, I start to shift the time I write. Even an hour adjustment can create a better environment for creativity.

Oddly, I am not a morning person. At all. Not even a little, but lately, I get my best work done in the early morning or at least before ten. I used to stay up to midnight typing away with so much gusto I’d hammer out whole chapters each night. Now that my daughter is older, though, and we have homeschool and other chores, I think my writing nights are coming to a close.

So, how do you know when your peak writing time is? Well, first, it helps to know your regular routine. Once you hammer out the times you will never be free—working another job, playing with kids, etc.—look at the remainder of the hours you would usually be awake. When are you most introspective? When can you let your mind wander and tap into those ideas that will wander into your work in progress? Your peak time might surprise you!

Experiment with morning, afternoon, late night, or a combination. Whenever it feels like dragging your feet through thick mud, it’s a good sign it’s not your peak time. Hit a brick wall in your manuscript? It might not be writer’s block at all. It might be a valley in your creative flow.

It’s different for every writer, so what’s yours?

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