While some of the Ladies here on the blog are fortunate enough to be able to write full time, writing is not my day job. I have a full-time day job that keeps me busy five days a week, fifty-two weeks a year (minus some vacation time here and there). I have a team to manage, high-visibility projects to keep on-track and deliver on-time, and a time-consuming commute, which only leaves nights and weekends free for all of the non-work things I want to do. Writing has to battle with the gym and the laundry and a host of other activities for the time, and it doesn’t always win out. Not surprisingly, the result is that progress on my WIP has been disappointingly slow. This has become even more frustrating as one by one, the other Ladies here are finishing their drafts.
That’s why this week, writing IS my day job. Thanksgiving week is typically slow at work so this seemed like the perfect time for me to use some of my saved up vacation hours so I could be a full-time writer for at least a few days. Day one of my writing week kicked off on Monday and, as my family can attest, I spent the majority of the day in my writing chair with my laptop and my manuscript close at hand. While I didn’t wind up with the thousands of new words that I was hoping would just start to flow of their own accord, I did add several hundred new words. More importantly, I got my head back in the story. Equally important is that last night, for the first time in ages, I fell asleep thinking about my story – the method that has always been extremely effective in helping me untangle story lines and figure out plot points.
Tuesday’s writing session had to wait until after lunch – due to a 30% off coupon and the need for an outfit for a holiday party – but when I sat down to write, the ideas I had thought of the night before helped get me past that “staring at the blank screen wondering what to write” phase and straight on to “words on the page.” As long as I can consistently get words on the page each day, I’ll be happy with the results of this week, though making major progress would, of course, be even better.
If this week works out the way I’m hoping it does, I may just have to make writing my day job on a regular basis. Fortunately I have a lot of vacation time saved up.
I may also have to give some serious thought to writing in the early mornings, rather than waiting until the end of the day when everything else is finished. I hope it doesn’t come to that though. I am really not a morning person.
So, when is your most effective writing time? Morning, evening, short bursts of time, long uninterrupted blocks?
Edited to add: Just a few days in, but so far this week has already been extremely productive. I think this idea is a keeper.