writing time…

I took the above photo of myself and uploaded it on instagram several months ago.

One thing I love to do is spread my notes and research around me as I work out some writing ideas and issues (I usually do the writing itself at the keyboard), and that’s what I was doing the evening I took the picture.

Here’s what I wrote when I shared the photo:

Tonight. In my workroom, modern jazz playing, manuscript notes for the novel spread out around me (in a comfy spot, not at the desk): a big sketchpad, 3-ring binder, spiral notebook, index cards, loose pages and pieces of scratch papers… all of it in addition to the digital files and the actual writing that’s on the computer. (And a purple pen with me, of course.) Notes and research are scattered among these places but it’s surprisingly much more organized than it might seem.

I’m a combo of pantser and loose outliner when it comes to long fiction but I’m pulling all these notes together into more of a “real” outline and I’ll see how that goes. It’s something I try now and then – but always before, I’ve ended up going back to my loose-ish way of bringing the story to life. Which I might do this time too, but I’m experimenting again.

Earlier today I was stuffed up and headachy with allergy/sinus stuff and not feeling well. Right now I feel so much better and sooo alive with joy-plus-calm as the music plays in the background and I work on the writing. Nights spent like this used to be my norm. I’m living in that world again – and I love that I am.

#creativelife #amwriting #indieauthor#thisismytonight #writersofinstagram #writersgonnawrite #creativityjoy#writeratwork

Although my writing times happen at various hours, writing after dark – lamplight filling the room and smooth jazz playing in the background – has been a way and a time I’ve loved to write for almost 30 years.

The music – which usually has no words – helps me get into the flow and  stirs my creative juices.

The night-time writing took advantage of a time of day when my energy was good.

As a night owl, I remember telling people that I often didn’t feel I was fully awake or completely alive until early evening. I said this to friends even back in high school. I was a night owl from my earliest memories.

But…

My energy patterns and sleeping habits have been shifting the past several months. To my surprise, I find I’m enjoying getting to sleep earlier at night and waking up earlier in the mornings.

And this means quieting my mind in the evenings earlier than I used to do.

If my mind and imagination are working on writing, if my brain is stimulated and focused on writing, if I’m feeling the alert aliveness I get while writing in flow, if my mind is streaming ideas and dialogue and plot lines while my fingers type it all out… it’s hard for me to shut off my mind enough to fall asleep soon after.

I need to start settling into comfy, cozy, ready-for-sleep mode earlier. And, unfortunately, working on my writing does the opposite of getting me into that zone.

I still write at night sometimes. I don’t want to give up that time completely when it comes to writing. It feels too good, too content, too joyful, too alive, to never write during the evening hours.

But these past months, my writing time has mostly shifted to mornings or afternoons, depending on my schedule for the day.

The joy, struggle, staring at the blank screen, or words flowing on the keyboard – all of those still happen, just as they always have, no matter what time I write.

And the main thing, regardless of what time, continues to be: I am writing.