I know, Paper to Pixels is supposed to be blog about my personal journey from writing books with hammer and chisel to a arc from paper to eBooks. But you have to understand that the only journey that goes in a straight line is one that involves jumping off something really high up and without a parachute. I’m not going to do that. So before I get back into the story of how I have moved from paper to eBooks and go through how to get 11,600 free book giveaways over a weekend for Starting Over and that kind o thing, i have to address the burning question, WHAT’S YOUR RIGHT TIME TO WRITE?. Starting Over is at http://www.nightwriter93.com/Women_s_Fiction.html or can be ordered on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/STARTING-OVER-ebook/dp/B007EHUHSC/ .
This is important! At least to me and is likely to you as well. Read on and see for yourself. All the books on my website, http://www.nightwriter93.com were written at night…hence nightwriter93. Maybe the 93 will be talked about later.
When are you most creative? Morning? Afternoon? Middle of the night? Speaking for myself, it’s absolutely night time. (You probably could have guessed that from my website http://www.NightWriter93.com.) I think I’m in the minority, because most people prefer mornings. But I wonder how many people actually know when their right time is to write.
Early in my career, I was lucky enough to spend an afternoon with Janet Dailey. I loved her books, respected her business decisions and envied her career. She was one of the first Harlequin authors to set her novels in America (one in each state), create strong, age-appropriate female characters and to write under her own name instead of a pen name (which Harlequin adamantly opposed because she eventually went on to write for other publishers and carry her fans with her). But what I found interesting was that she told me she always got up early (five or six a.m.) and locked herself in her office until she had written a specific number of pages. Her husband would bring her coffee and food, but she stuck to it until she had reached her goal. Then she walked out of her office and spent the rest of her day with her horses. That sounded ideal to me since I needed the discipline and I love horses.
Except when I tried to write in the morning, I found myself staring out the window, dusting the furniture, re-alphabetizing the books on the shelves, playing on-line video games, etc. Not a creative thought entered my mind or made it to the page.
When my kids were young, I tried writing during the day while they were at school, but the phone would ring, groceries had to be bought and there were a million things to distract me. I would read through what I had written and realize it was crap. Pages of disjointed, clichéd crap, totally lacking in a heartbeat.
I’m not sure how it happened, but I tried writing at night, not sitting down to my computer until the kids were all in bed. The fingers flew, the words filled the pages, the characters blossomed and took over the story, just as they should. It was almost an out-of-body experience. The next day I would read what I had been written and be amazed. Things happened and characters had conversations that I honestly didn’t remember writing. I had clearly found my right time to write.
Since then, I don’t even try to write while the sun is up. Maybe I’m a new breed of vampire, but without the superhuman strength and thirst for blood. I’m lucky because I’m at a point in my career where I have the freedom to arrange my schedule according to my deadlines. However, I do all my editing during the day when my creative brain is asleep and my logical, analytical brain is wide awake.
I’ve talked to some of my friends about this discovery and realized that while they weren’t fellow night writers, they had found their own sweet spot during the day when their creative juices flowed best. Others continued to write to a schedule, and to be perfectly honest, when I read their books I can see the structure and the discipline rather than lose myself in the story. I don’t think they’ve found their creative time.
Of course, there are those who don’t have a choice and believe it’s better to write something at an off time than to right nothing at a right time. Those of you who are forced to work your writing in around a job or family responsibilities, you have to do what you have to do. But listen to your creative soul and find your right time. It’s better to write two pages that flow from your guts than twenty pages that are mechanical and dull. If possible, re-arrange your schedule to allow for a writing window or save yourself for your days (or nights) off to make the magic happen.
Experiment and see what works for you. Everyone’s brains cycle in patterns, so first you have to find your time. Then get to work.
One more thing…the CUL8R Teen Time Travel Mystery Series will be having a second book added to book #1, OMG, in April. Look for BRB in all the usual places….
C’ya next time…