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Jay Lake
Date: 2008-10-27 05:41
Subject: [process] The write time of day
Security: Public
Tags:process, tourbillion, writing

An interesting (to me) observation from my experiences working on Tourbillon. Some days I write in the afternoon and evening, schedule permitting. Some days I write very early, as I did today — got up at three, exercised, showered, and was at the keyboard from 4:00 to 5:30.

When I write early, the throughput is a lot slower than when I write late. The typos are more prevalent. But the story doesn’t seem to suffer. In fact, it may have improved slightly.

I believe I shall attempt an experiment some time in November, once this book is drafted. I’m going to try writing a short story (or more likely a novella, I owe a few of those around) by only writing very early. I want to see how different it might be when I am closer to the dreaming time and not so filled with the work of my day.

Do you write on a regular schedule? Or does it shift around for you? How does that affect your output? What is your write time of the day?

Originally published at jlake.com. You can comment here or there.

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User: joycemocha
Date: 2008-10-27 12:44 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I think I write better in the early morning. Editing can happen throughout the day, but the first drafts seem to do better at oh-dark-thirty.
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User: lordofallfools
Date: 2008-10-27 13:21 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I write daily from about 5:30am to around 6:30am; then again from about 3:30pm to 5:00pm-- this coincides with my commute.

Occasionally, I'll take a couple hours in the evening (from, say 7-9) if I'm Burning Serious Fiction, but this happens very rarely.
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User: swan_tower
Date: 2008-10-27 16:32 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Night. Oh God, don't make me write earlier than that.

I've been known to pen some words during the afternoon, if the story is chomping at the bit. But it's been true for me ever since I was twelve (the earliest I noticed it) that I just function better starting around ten or eleven p.m., in fields ranging from creative writing to hand-eye coordination. I have no idea why.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2008-10-27 16:36 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Generally speaking by the middle of the night I am brain dead. I might be up partying, but I could no more write at 11 pm than I could perform surgery.
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User: swan_tower
Date: 2008-10-27 17:04 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:albino owl
I'm not even kidding about the hand-eye coordination. I have two sets of skee-ball results, produced during the same month, one at 3 in the afternoon, one at 1 in the morning, to prove it.

The human body and brain are weird, weird things.
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calendula_witch: First Book
User: calendula_witch
Date: 2008-10-27 17:52 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:First Book
Interesting stuff. I prefer to write in the mornings, that's when I have my best energy and creativity, but my schedule these days leaves only after-work time to write (5-6pm), so I make it work. But I had one day last week when I woke up weirdly early (for me--4am), so I got up and wrote before sunrise, and it was AWESOME. Wish I could always do that. Stupid sleep. :-)
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User: ex_camillea
Date: 2008-10-27 23:32 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:goat on a barrel
Novels go better at night, all through the night until sunrise. Something about the solitude and quiet, the complete lack of distractions.

Short stories definitely flow best from about 3am 'til about noon or 1pm.
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User: ex_kaz_maho
Date: 2008-10-28 17:32 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
My writing time shifts around depending on the day, but the best time for me is late at night. I was always that way, even many years ago in school and then university - last minute studying. My prime writing-time is probably 10pm-12am.
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