Early bird or night owl? Most writers I know seem to be one or the other.
Some of us have brains that come alive just as the sun is setting. Others do their best work between sunrise and brunch. I’m the second kind – an early bird writer.
Right now, my writing hours are limited. Every day, I report to a full-time job around 6:45 am. I work my eight hours. I run errands afterward, and I take a long walk almost every evening. Somewhere in there, I eat dinner and oversee the business of publishing.
When I try to write in the evening, I end up frustrated. It’s just now how I’m wired. Only brainstorming works for me after sunset because it’s free-form and messy and for my eyes only.
On weekdays, I could wake up around 3 am to score a few hours of writing time. While I was writing my By Eyes Unseen series, I did this for more than a year. But it’s tough, and long-term sleep deprivation does little to improve an author’s work (or job performance or social life).
So, on the weekends, I embark on marathon writing sessions – four to eight hours at a time depending on when I wake up. If I’m in the zone, I can crank out an entire chapter and review it after a late lunch.
During this phase, the research continues with lots of fact-checking, map-reading, and synonym-finding. I enjoy this aspect of the process as much as any other. For me, writing is a symphony of actions. Every moment contributes to the momentum.
Writing is a solitary, even sacred, experience – one I cherish and protect.