When is the best time to write?


When is the best time to write?


Answer: whenever you can.


There is a romanticized notion that writing in the morning with a steaming cup of coffee or engaging a feverish, late night writing session is the way writing happens. Both of these situations are definite possibilities. But, really, there is no magical perfect time of day to write. 


The only “rule” I’ll give you in terms of writing time is this: as long as you wrote something today, you did it. If you wrote three breakthrough points down in your journal and that was enough to chew on today, you did it. If you were on the subway and wrote down a paragraph that just hit you out of nowhere, you did it. If you did a whole meditation/prayer/ hour long write session with your journal, you did it. If you went to the coffee shop and wrote an entire article, you did it. If you did it at 3 pm or 3 am, it doesn’t matter. It does not matter at all, as long as you wrote something down. 


Here is a secret: there is no magic time of day where the words come to you. The magic of writing is not the time you do it, but the time you choose to do it. And don’t pull the whole “writing is torture” attitude, or fall prey to the romanticism of it. If you over think the writing, all it equals is BLOCKAGE.


So now we know for 100% sure that there is no perfect time to write. We aim for one thing: to write.


Now, that said, you need to do a personal survey of your life and think about when writing will fit in best for you. This requires figuring yourself out enough to know when writing will be most beneficial to you and when you tend to write best. If you decide that you write best at 6:00 in the morning, I urge you to aim for that. However if you happen to not write at 6:00 in the morning for some reason, let me gently remind you that there are 23 more hours in the day and you only need 5 minutes. Write for 5 minutes before bed and you’ll sleep better. Write for 5 minutes on a break at work and you’ll do better the rest of the day. Sneak it in somewhere if you miss your normal designated writing time for some reason. 


To make this even simpler, attach your writing to a spot in your routine rather than an exact time on the clock. For example: before bed. You can go to bed at whatever time, but when you crawl in, grab the journal and write a bit. Same in the morning. It doesn’t matter when you wake up, just write a bit when you do. When you have your break at work, sit down to write. Some people get all bent out of shape about the actual literal numbers on the clock. If you must do that to write well, don’t let me stop you, but may I suggest having grace for yourself and just make writing kind of like brushing your teeth? If you brush your teeth at 10:30 instead of 9:30 the world doesn’t crash to the ground and you don’t berate yourself for not brushing your teeth at the exact right time. You just do it when you do it. Please please have this mentality about writing as well. The stakes are not all that high. 


Have grace for yourself and write those words.

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