Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Guest Writer: Peter Rogan on when is the best time to write

I began writing for myself when I was in the 9th grade. My English teacher introduced my class to journal writing, and I never looked back. There was a power in the word that attracted me and that still attracts me.

Below is a short, concise essay on how to structure writing time into your life. It was so clear and to the point that I asked Peter if I could publish it in my blog, and he graciously accepted.

Peter is a freelance writer and business analyst whom I met through the LinkedIn professional network. Publication of Peter Rogan's essay on this blog does not compromise, destroy, or obviate his publication rights for this piece on electronic or any other media worldwide.

When Is the Best Time to Write?

Three schools of thought on the matter of when is the best time to write.

1) When you can. Busy mothers and others whose schedules or work demands preclude firm scheduling need to make a protected space where they can write when opportunity presents itself. It can be a sewing nook, famously used by M.K. Rowling, or it can be a waterproof notebook, or even a smartphone, if it comes to that. A place where writing can go undisturbed, though the rest of the day is chaos.

2) When you feel up to it. Those with schedules that permit some free time can set aside an hour or two in order to set things down. It can be when you rise, before going to work, when you feel most creative. It can be late in the evening, after the day's stresses have passed. The only thing that matters is that this is the time of day you feel best able to write, and you schedule your day around that time.

3) When you set yourself to it. If you're going to be writing for a living, you have to meet it with the same discipline those who live 9-5 do, and you schedule your day so that you are at work before the keyboard or pad and are not disturbed save at great cause. You don't have to work 9-5 -- I had a friend who famously rose at 7 every evening, had breakfast at a 24-hour joint, then would come home and work to four or five in the morning, whereupon he would go to bed. But he did it religiously, with more than a dozen novels to his name.

Theoretically that's a progression. You can start writing when you grab a moment or two for yourself, then work yourself up to a couple of hours in the evening when the kids are asleep, and so cross the Bifrost to the happy Asgard of writing all day, every day. In practice most people find an idiosyncratic balance that works with the demands of a day job, family life, and weekends.

The key is starting to write, and keeping on writing, day after day. The schedule shapes itself as time and opportunity permits. Try it. And see.

Copyright 2009 by Peter Rogan, all rights reserved


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