What Is The Best Time Of Day To Write? (And Why Is Everyone's Advice Not Working For You?)


I’ve heard a lot of Writing Advice™ from a lot of people. Some of these people are successful authors so OBVIOUSLY I SHOULD HEED THEIR EVERY WORD, RIGHT?? They know what they’re talking about. They’ve done this before. When I scroll through my feed on Pinterest, I am usually smacked by one or two (or seven) articles holding various wise words about writing. THOUGH EVERY ATOM IN MY BODY CRINGES WHEN I CLICK THESE LINKS I am still drawn to Writing Advice™ for some reason. So today I am going to helpfully combine EVERYONE’S advice into one handy post. You will bookmark it and pin it and treat it like a sacred work because it will doubtless reveal to you the secrets of the universe.*

*nobody actually knows what these secrets are. perhaps it has something to do with where unicorns came from. which would be really helpful to know.


Especially during NaNoWriMo! Remember, you have to get that word count in. 1,600 words MINIMUM. Do you want to arrive at the end of your day having written NOTHING?? What a terrifying prospect. To avoid this, simply write first thing in the morning! Get up earlier if you have to! WHO NEEDS SLEEP ANYWAY? Who needs to even be AWAKE to write? Real Writers™ can write while they sleep (or at least write before have any coffee which is almost the same thing.) Keep your laptop next to your bed and start slaughtering them words as soon as your eyes open. YOU WON’T REGRET IT.

When do you have the least amount of pressure on your mind? WHEN THE DAY IS OVER OBVIOUSLY. Your to-do list is crossed off and your tasks are done for the day. The rest of the family might be kicking back in front of the TV but YOU MY FREN ARE WRITING. Because you waited so long you’ll feel absolutely terrible if you don’t get those words in. STAY UP ALL NIGHT IF YOU HAVE TO. Real Writers™ are nocturnal and will stay awake and alert as long as they need to.


Because you’re a busy person! We know this. You don’t have time to sit down for hours and hours (in the morning or at night.) YOU HAVE THINGS TO DO. So whenever you have a spare ten minutes, chip away at your story. IT’S NOT DISTRACTING AT ALL to be pulled away every other second because you need to do the laundry or walk your dog or eat food. Real Writers™ can multitask. AND YOU ARE A REAL WRITER™ AREN’T YOU??

Just cram on that book, sir. YOU DON’T NEED TO DO ANYTHING ELSE. Do you realize that you could be finished with this story if you wrote all day every day for only a few days? Sit at your desk and type and breathe and have someone else feed you an occasional waffle. PROBLEM SOLVED. Work can wait. Humans can wait. What do you mean, you can’t write that much? Real Writers™ can write as many words a day as their fingers will allow before falling off their body.


This might be any time of day! This might be when you wake up in the middle of the night for absolutely no reason. This might be when you’re at work with no means of writing. This might be when you’re in the middle of biology class. This might be when you’re lost somewhere in the depths of Pinterest. Whenever you feel inspired to write, YOU SHOULD OBVIOUSLY DROP EVERYTHING AND WRITE. Who cares about what you were in the middle of? Real Writers™ don’t care what things they ditch in order to write. WRITING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANYTHING ELSE.

The above tips might work for some of y’all, but I’ve tried them and they definitely don’t work for me. If I write first thing in the morning, I am sometimes tired and stressed. If I write at night, I am sometimes drained and unfocused. If I write whenever I get a spare moment, I feel like I’m never really “in” the story. If I write all day long, I feel pressured and can’t write very well. If I write whenever I feel inspired, my book takes forever to finish. NOTHING WORKS FOR ME.


There is no “magic” time of day to write your book. Everyone is different and has their own methods. There is also no such thing as a Real Writer™ — because as you’ve probably learned, EVERYONE BUT YOU IS THE REAL WRITER™. This is self-depreciation at its finest. You are all writers, no matter how extreme you are about your art. But can I add to this list of Writing Advice™? Because THERE IS ONLY ONE THING THAT WORKS FOR ME:

It is clinically proven that happy people are more successful in their everyday lives and jobs.* AND I HAVE SEEN THE PROOF IN MY OWN LIFE TBH. If I am happy when I sit down to write my book, everything I write comes out 500000% better. This isn’t actually a time of day so it’s totally unhelpful – I might be the happiest in the morning or at night depending on what’s going on in my life at the moment. OR MAYBE I’LL BE HAPPY ALL DAY AND THE STARS WILL ALIGN. Good moods make for good writing. Just don’t ask me to give you the Recipe For Happiness™ because idk what it is. Possibly waffles? YEAH. LET’S GO WITH THAT.

*but of course i am too lazy to actually link an article proving this (THAT’S WHAT GOOGLE IS FOR) but this ted talk is great. 

What is your favorite time of day to write? Are you an early bird or a night owl? Or are you some form of permanently exhausted pigeon? Do you write better when you are happy? Do you feel more successful when you are happy? And are waffles actually the recipe for happiness???

love,
abbiee

42 comments

  1. i totally write the best early in the morning. i am the most productive in the morning and it's just when my creative juices are flowing.

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    1. love your post, by the way!

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    2. EEEP THANK YOU MADELINE. <3 yesss I can totally relate. ;) The morning is usually the best time for me too.

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  2. Awesome post! My favorite time to write is the early hours of the morning, when the sun is rising. The first thing I do is fix a cup of tea, then settle down in front of an open window with the laptop. It's a magical time of day, I have a couple hours to kill before I need to do anything, and my inner editor is still a sleep, so it's a win- win situation all around. Also, I'd like to take this time to say that I LOVE your writing. It really is magical and happy and just breathtaking. You're doing a wonderful job!

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    1. "My favorite time to write is the early hours of the morning, when the sun is rising." <<< GOTTA AGREE WITH YOU HERE EMMA MARIE. That is a truly magical time of day and there is nothing quite like writing with the dawn. :''') AND THE THING ABOUT YOUR INNER EDITOR BEING ASLEEP. SOOOO TRUE. Which means I really need to write sleepy more often. ;)

      ALDJSKHL THANK YOU SO MUCH YOU ARE TOO KIND. <3333333 *hugs and waffles*

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  3. Bahahaha - THIS!!!! Yeah, everyone has advice and that aaaaaalll have different advice!!!! What is with that anyway??? Loved the sarcasm! ;)

    I never have time in the morning, so evening is writing time for me... Not because that's when I LIKE to write but because it's the only time I have FREE.

    I AM TOO BUSY TO HEED OR EXPERIMENT WITH YO ADVICE, SIR!

    Actually I DON'T recommend writing at night because it STRESSES ME OUT, MAN. Like I would rather have PEACE OF MIND knowing them words are already in the bag and then IF I FEEL LIKE WRITING at night, I can do EXTRA.

    Sadly this is not an option. #wail

    Anyway, sorry for rambling... Great post, Abbiee

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    1. AW THANK YOU FOR APPRECIATING MY SARCASM DEAR. :''') You're a kindred spirit. Oh yes I totally get you about writing at night. It's definitely more stressful BECAUSE UGH WORD COUNT GOALS. *screams into a nearby pillow* Thank you so much for reading, Kayla Marie!

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    2. Speaking of word count goals... I COULDN'T HELP BUT NOTICE THAT WE ARE NOT BUDDIES ON THE NANO SITE???? *gasps* Clearly we must remedy this??? I want to be able yp watch every step of everyone's NaNo!!! Friend me, please! (My username is Storyndarkchocolate.)

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  4. I loved this!! Your blog is so inspiring...*sigh* I am totally a night owl.. :) in fact I was in the middle of a cram writing session at 11 last night when my mom came in which actually helped the juices flow again. I write when I can...sporadically. Words come and I have to write them down before they leave ya know?? OH MY GOSH!! WAFFLES SOLVE EVERYTHING!! ESPECIALLY SLATHERED IN BUTTER AND HONEY....;)

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    1. OMG YOU ARE SO KIND THANK YOU. :''') *hugs you and gives you waffles with lots of butter and honey* << that sounds amazing btw I've never had honey on waffles!! YES I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU MEAN ABOUT WRITING BEFORE THE WORDS ESCAPE. *nod nod* I feel that so hard. <3 Thank you so much for reading, dear!!

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  5. My spirit animal is the permanently exhausted pigeon xD
    I literally haven't touched my WIP since summer, which is super terrible of me. I think i write best under some pressure or deadline, or at least that's when I write fastest, and as we all know, faster = better lol jk but not really x)
    I blame Pinterest for my lack of writing (*ignores the fact that it actually is due to instinctive laziness and lack of willpower*)
    love this, girl <3

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    1. LOLOLOL RIGHT?? SAME ABBY SAME. Yessss I totally get you there — I write much faster when I'm under deadlines/pressure. LIKE RIGHT NOW WITH NANOWRIMO. *screams* but eeep it's fun. YES I BLAME PINTEREST TOO. TBH US WRITERS SHOULD SUE PINTEREST FOR MAKING US NEVER GET ANY WRITING DONE. But then...we do love Pinterest at the same time?? IDK IT'S COMPLICATED. Thank you so much for reading, girl!!

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  6. Yeah...I'm definitely some sort of permanently exhausted pigeon...

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  7. I'm not a "writer" but this made me laugh HAHAHA

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    1. MUAHAHAH I'M SO GLAD. (that it made you laugh not that you're not a writer bc it would be cool if you were but dude music is even better so y'know not complaining bro)

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  8. Yess! This is so relatable. Every writer is different and needs to discover their own writing habits on their own. And every writing time is a valid time to write imo. :)

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    1. SOO TRUE HANNAH. We definitely all have our own styles and habits and we should follow our hearts, not someone else's advice. ;) EEP THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR READING. <33

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  9. YES. Oh, yes yes. Totally. THERE IS NO STRAIGHT AND NARROW WAY TO WRITE. :) (but personally i think that makes it kind of beautiful)

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    1. YAAAAS YOU SAID IT EMILY. <3333

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  10. THIS IS SO TRUE OH MY GOODNESS. I'm laughing really hard right now wow. XD

    I don't really have a specific time that I write best. You're right- I really do think that everyone writes best when they're happy. So there isn't like, one specific hour or something that writing works best. I used to consider myself a nighttime writer, but throughout NaNo I've somehow become more of a morning/afternoon writer??? BUT THEN LAST NIGHT I WROTE BEAUTIFULLY AT NIGHT. It's quite confusing, goshdarnit.

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    1. AHAHAH YAY THANK YOU SO MUCH GRACE ANNE. <333 AND OMG I CAN RELATE SOOOO MUCH. Like it's all different times for me?? But my best stuff ALWAYS comes to me when I'm happy. It's amazing. :''') EEEEEEEEP I HOPE YOU'RE HAVING FUN WITH NANO. *gives you supportive chocolate*

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  11. GAH THANK YOUUU people always ask me when I like to write most and I'm just like....WHEN I FEEL LIKE IT, DUHHHH but I guess EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT.

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    1. EXACTLY. I COULDN'T HAVE SAID IT BETTER. <3

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  12. I think I probably write best late evening/afternoon. I don't know about mornings, because that's my hot chocolate time (which is so very important), but sometimes it just depends on my mood, you know? I once wrote the prologue to a WIP whilst my sister was sleeping in the same room as me, so it just goes to show: it really depends on how you're feeling.

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    1. HOT CHOCOLATE IN THE MORNING THAT SOUNDS LIKE SOMETHING I COULD GET USED TO. <333 seriously that is epic right there. BUT YES I TOTALLY KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN — writing always depends on my mood. *nod nod* Thank you so much for reading, Sunset!!

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  13. Yum yum waffles!
    This is such a great post, Abbie! I really enjoyed read all of your advice. <3

    Sophie

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    1. EEEP THANK YOU SO MUCH SOPHIA!! <3 and yes waffles are the best. ;)

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  14. I usually write late at night which I regret 99.9% of the time when my alarm demands I get up for school the next morning. It's the only time I'm inspired no matter how inconvenient it is. But hey, at least I AM writing!

    Although...I think the title of permanently exhausted pigeon may suit me best.

    Tbh, I usually write better when I'm sad or feeling kind of down, not happy. I don't know why. I often write when I'm happy too but I'm always distracted by other things like the ukulele staring at me from the corner of my room demanding to be played...STOP IT UKE!

    Great post!

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    1. Inspiration is all that matters, Charlotte! YOU GOT IT. ;) but yes I can see how that would be really inconvenient. School in and of itself is super inconvenient. OOH YES I CAN DEFINITELY SEE HOW THE UKE WOULD BE DISTRACTING. <3 I soooo badly want to learn how to play the ukulele. :''') THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR READING DEAR.

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  15. i'm just going to gush about the You've Got Mail gif for a second because i always cry at that movie. writing is hard. but God is good, and man, sometimes there is nothing better than being alive to say those words.
    x

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    1. IS THAT WHERE THAT GIF IS FROM OMG I'VE NEVER SEEN THAT MOVIE BUT I'VE WANTED TO FOR LIKE EVER :''''') wow yes you said it bro. <3 that's beautiful.

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  16. You're hilarious :p love this post! And without disagreeing about writing when you're happy (because obvi) I want to throw out there that I like to write when I'm NOT happy, too... sometimes writing when I'm upset makes for the most emotional scenes :3

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    1. Very good point, Olivia!! I have written some very emotional scenes when I'm sad, too. <3 eeeeep thank you so much for reading!!

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  17. Me again. I tagged you for a new tag that I created on my blog, if you want to have a little peek at that?

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  18. Hello abbiee. You have best suggestions for the emmerging writers about " What is the Best time of Day to Write". I am not a writer but still I feel your suggestions are worth. I am a Pastor from Mumbai,India. I am truly blessed and feel privileged and honored to get connected with you as well as know you through your profile on the blogger and the blog post. I love getting connected with the people of God aorund the globe to be encouraged, strengthened and praying for one another. I have been in the Pastoral ministry for last 37 yrs in this great city a city with a great conrast where richest of rich and the poorest of poor live. We reachout to the poorest of poor with the love of Christ to bring h ealing to the brokenhearted. We also encourage young and the adults from the west to come to Mumbai to work with us during their vacation time. We would love to have you come to Mumbai with your friends to work with us during your vacation time. I amsure you will havea life changing experience. Looking forward to hear from you very soon. God's richest blessings on you, your family and friends. My email id is: dhwankhede(at)gmail(dot)com and my name is Diwakar WAnkhede.

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  19. I love this! I usually try to write early in the morning, but there are times when I can only get time to write in the afternoon or evening, I usually write slower then.

    I just have to blurt out that you are an amazing person. Here's some waffles!

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  20. I love this a lot! Even though a lot of times I do write when I'm happy, I have to admit that a lot of times I write when I'm sad and I just want to process my feelings out and sometimes it is through characters and what not. But I would say for writing an entire novel that wouldn't work very well lol

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  21. bwahaha I love your sarcasm! (and wisdom!) this post comes at such a fitting time for me because I have been thinking about all the well-meaning advice that comes at us writers and how a lot of the time we really do have to ignore it. for me, I really don't have a set time when I write best... sometimes it's so late my mom is practically shoving me into bed or sometimes I get in a bunch before breakfast... or in the middle of the day. I think being happy - or just being at peace and having clear thoughts - has something to do with it. then again, writing often MAKES me happy, or clears my thoughts... so it all works. I hope NaNo is going fabulously for you!! <3

    andsowewillbethehopeful.blogspot.com

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Nice comments brighten my day x100000! I read and respond to every single one (and I also give my commenters free virtual waffles, so that's a plus.)