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View Full Version : Does time of day affect your inspiration (for writing, not overall inspiration)



underthecity
05-08-2008, 08:06 PM
I revise my manuscript (on paper) at different times of day, specifically at break times at work, sometimes after work on the couch, etc. Sometimes I'll find a good turn of phrase or make a great connection to an earlier event . . . at say 9 a.m. I might come up with an alternate phrase or rewrite a sentence a different way at noon. Or later that evening, I might look it and say, "where did that come from? That's pretty good," and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have developed that particular line or scene that way at that later time. That phraseology might have been developed only at that time, only while I was sitting there during my morning break.

Does that make sense?

IOW, if I were to try rewriting that line or scene at a different time, say at 7PM while sitting on the couch, I might have come up with a different way to rewrite it, versus how I did it at 9 that morning.

Is this normal? Does that time or place affect the writing or rewriting for anyone else?

allen

JimmyB27
05-08-2008, 08:25 PM
Is this normal? Does that time or place affect the writing or rewriting for anyone else?
Yes. I only ever have good ideas when I'm in bed and trying to get to sleep so I can get up for work the next day. Or I'll get an overwhelming desire to write something RIGHT NOW, in the middle of a working day, a desire that will always fade by the time I finish work.
I hate that.

jessicaorr
05-08-2008, 08:33 PM
I get all my best ideas while soaking in the tub :D

Though I do get quite a few ideas just before I fall asleep. I keep a notebook on my bedside table so I can record my thoughts.

Chumplet
05-08-2008, 08:38 PM
Like Jimmy, my ideas come to my while falling asleep. Also, in the car. Usually at the most inopportune times.

Then, when I sit down to implement those ideas (if I remembered them), I end up surfing instead.

chartreuse
05-08-2008, 09:03 PM
Mornings are absolutely the best time for me - for writing, revising, or just having new ideas pop up. Second best time is after an afternoon nap.

Basically, the more recently I've slept, the more creative I am.

DWSTXS
05-08-2008, 09:17 PM
I can't write in the mornings.

Heck, I can't/don't want to do ANYTHING in the mornings.

If I can get through the day until around 11 am without even saying a word to anyone, then my day has started off perfectly. Whereas, when I was married...my wife would be up at 5:30 or 6 am, cheerful as hell, singing to the cats and whatnot.

My best writing is at night.

inkkognito
05-08-2008, 11:21 PM
I'm a night owl. My best ideas come in the wee hours, as does my best writing. Sometimes circumstances force me to write during the day, but if I had my druthers I'd be pounding on my laptop till 3 a.m. or so each night.

Blondchen
05-08-2008, 11:56 PM
When I'm blow drying my hair in the morning. Swear to God.

I also wrote the majority of my ms. at work. :)

icerose
05-09-2008, 12:21 AM
Yes.

I work better in the morning. Unfortunately that's when all my housework and such is expected to get done. So by the time I get everything done, which is shortly after lunch time, my brain is so clouded with other things it's hard to concentrate.

That doesn't mean I don't get any work done, I just do better in the morning.

Sometimes I do fine at night when everyone has gone to bed if it's quiet enough and I'm left alone. That's hard to get.

Namatu
05-09-2008, 12:25 AM
Evening. Some great ideas happen in the shower too.

Maryn
05-09-2008, 12:30 AM
I get nearly all my ideas while exercise walking. It only works outside, never on a treadmill.

As I got older, I discovered that while I can write at night, it's never very good. Most evenings I'm too tired, so I don't even try. I do my best work in the morning.

Maryn, caffeine fan

akiwiguy
05-09-2008, 01:00 AM
Though I do get quite a few ideas just before I fall asleep. I keep a notebook on my bedside table so I can record my thoughts.


Yes, and I've fallen in love with my little digital note-taker. Comes in so handy for recording those little thoughts that spring into one's mind.

I'm also finding I more and more often send correspondence by little audio files. I did this for a a quick critique I did recently, and for one thing it becomes something I don't have to sit at the keyboard for another half hour. But also I felt more comfortable criticising aspects of another's work that way.. with feedback such as the tone of my voice it felt more chatty, informal and in context rather than cold sounding words that we all tend to pour over later and misinterpret. :)

Big fan of digital note-takers.

StephanieFox
05-09-2008, 01:05 AM
I can't do anything in the morning except drink coffee. I really can't write worth spit until the afternoon. My best times for writing and rewriting is from about 8:00pm until 1:00am.

Blondchen
05-09-2008, 01:11 AM
Agreed. This, and a variety of other reasons, is why I'd be dead without my Treo!


Yes, and I've fallen in love with my little digital note-taker. Comes in so handy for recording those little thoughts that spring into one's mind.

I'm also finding I more and more often send correspondence by little audio files. I did this for a a quick critique I did recently, and for one thing it becomes something I don't have to sit at the keyboard for another half hour. But also I felt more comfortable criticising aspects of another's work that way.. with feedback such as the tone of my voice it felt more chatty, informal and in context rather than cold sounding words that we all tend to pour over later and misinterpret. :)

Big fan of digital note-takers.

Susan Breen
05-09-2008, 01:40 AM
Morning is definitely the best time for me. I try to write before I have to do any of my chores, so that I'm fresh. I figure I don't need to be inspired to do the laundry. Of course we're all fighting over the few pairs of clean socks, but what the heck.

vfury
05-09-2008, 01:54 AM
My ideas tend to come at any time, usually when I least expect them - I figured out how to show a major theme in book today at work. I spent most of the day turning those ideas over in my head, trying my hardest not to forget them until my lunch.

I need to do my writing in the mornings and early afternoons because I tend to start feeling sleepy from 9pm onwards and it's very hard to concentrate. If the writing isn't going well, I tend to flee to the nearest coffee shop and write there and I normally end up with something I can work with when I return home.

Soccer Mom
05-09-2008, 02:00 AM
I can write at any time except late afternoon, between about 3-5 pm. My brain goes dormant.

SPMiller
05-09-2008, 02:08 AM
I do my best writing when the sun is down.

Inspiration is something else entirely, and can strike at any time. Usually I'm inspired by the most inconvenient things...

kct webber
05-09-2008, 06:23 AM
Ideas come all the time for me. The time of day doesn't seem to matter. I don't start writing until about 10pm to midnight. For some reason, if I write while the sun's up, it tends to be clunky. The later it is, for me, the better. I'll take notes or edit during the afternoon and evening, but I don't really write then. And when the sun comes up, it's time to close the laptop.

So, yes. For me, the time of day matters.

slcboston
05-09-2008, 06:50 AM
I write better in the mornings, like really early, say around 6 esp when it's just turning light...

Only I hate getting up.

I try and write at night, but by the time I get home from work and the commute...

It doesn't feel like my best work.

I think I need to just write at work and be done with it. of course, that would likely have me out of work in a hurry...

*sigh* I need a muse more in tune with my circadian rhythms, dang it.:Headbang:

underthecity
05-09-2008, 05:18 PM
Here's a new entry for me: I was sitting in Tire Discounters getting new tires and an alignment from 4 to 6. Just me and my laptop, no distractions, no internet. I got lots of great revisions done in those two hours. Surprised myself on a few of the changes.

allen

jessicaorr
05-09-2008, 06:02 PM
Yes, and I've fallen in love with my little digital note-taker. Comes in so handy for recording those little thoughts that spring into one's mind.

I'm also finding I more and more often send correspondence by little audio files. I did this for a a quick critique I did recently, and for one thing it becomes something I don't have to sit at the keyboard for another half hour. But also I felt more comfortable criticising aspects of another's work that way.. with feedback such as the tone of my voice it felt more chatty, informal and in context rather than cold sounding words that we all tend to pour over later and misinterpret. :)

Big fan of digital note-takers.

Oooh, good idea. I have a little digital recorder from my collage days. It's lying around here somewhere. I should bust that little guy out.

joyce
05-09-2008, 06:23 PM
I'm also a night person when it comes to writing. It seems my best ideas are happening at night. Also, my house has calmed down and I finally have time for myself without being bothered. I wish I could do more writing during the day, but generally it all takes place at night after 9p.m. until the wee hours of the morning. No wonder I feel so tired.:)

Kitrianna
05-09-2008, 06:56 PM
Time of day don't matter a lick to my brain. Inspiration only strikes when I am far, far away from my computer and have no hopes of getting back to it anytime soon (like I expect that at some point today inspiration will slap me upside the head because I am a 30 kms from my house and will be out all day). When I try to recreate these circumstances, unfortunately it doesn't work. Going for a walk or out for an hour or so doesn't work because the inspiration part of my brain KNOWS that I will be abck to the computer LONG before I forget the exact phrasing of those thoughts. Go figure.

HourglassMemory
05-09-2008, 10:06 PM
I think it does, in a weird way.
I mean, I could think about my story at any time of the day and come up with something new that I can add.
But I do notice that I write the most, about 90%, during night time.
and I get extremely fluent in my writing after spending many minutes reading what I have written and getting into the flow. This leads to me starting to write something new extremely late in the night, or should I say, extremely early in the morning.

blueobsidian
05-10-2008, 01:14 AM
I am absolutely a morning person. Trying to write in the evenings is an exercise in futility for me. My brain just shuts down after 5! However, the question mentioned inspiration. My ideas tend to come to me right before I fall asleep. I just have to jot down a few phrases so I remember what it was when I sit down to write in the morning!

A friend and I have a theory that the time of day a person is born influences when they are the most active and feel the best. I was born first thing in the morning and that is exactly when I do my best work.

donroc
05-10-2008, 01:49 AM
I write and create in the morning, shut down in the afternoon, always have, even in college, and get my best ideas at night, which I write down for the next morning session. Occasionally, I might do a straight 10 hour session of writing, with a writing "hangover" sure to follow.