Yesterday, I saw a link to this post on Twitter (Why Programmers Work at Night). I can’t remember who tweeted it, but they compared it to writers — and a bell went off for me. Basically, the writer says that the mind is a busy thing and it’s easy to get distracted during the day. But at night, when the mind is tired and everything is dark, it’s easier to sit down and write code because you’re too tired to play.
And I thought, Yeah, that sounds right. Because I’ve always seemed to work better at night than I do during the day. I can sit and stare at the computer, write some words, surf a bit — and then it’s time for the hubby to come home and I’m making dinner, etc. If I’m on deadline, I go back to work after dinner. And work gets done. Much work.
When I first started writing, I was working retail and I had the usual crappy shift. I went to work at 1:00 PM and worked until we closed the store. This usually meant I got home sometime after 10:00. And then I went straight to my computer and often worked until 2 or 3 in the morning. If things were going really well, I’d be at it until 6 or 7. I got a lot done, but I hated the schedule.
Fast forward a few years, and thankfully that retail job is long gone. My schedule is my own. And yet, though I get up early and start to work, I often don’t hit my stride until afternoon. And sometimes not until the evening.
So I sent this link to my husband and told him that this was so me. His response made my jaw drop — and made me think. He said, “Bullshit.” He pointed out, quite rightfully, that I work best under pressure. If I have a deadline, I will meet it. I will write non-stop until I do. (I always have a deadline these days, but how far away it is determines my level of panic and productivity.)
And then he pulled out the big guns. He said, and I’m still cursing him for it, “Nora Roberts would say that the best time to write is right now.”
Damn and double damn. I have apparently mentioned La Nora and her amazing schedule one too many times. He’s right, curse him. The time to write is now. Not later, not when you feel like it, not when the sun and moon and stars are all in perfect harmony. You may have a natural rhythm, and that’s fine — but you have to be able to adapt too. Sometimes your schedule gets thrown off — life gets in the way. Hubby says that if we all relied on the “right time” to accomplish tasks, nothing would ever get done.
He’s so right. Doesn’t mean I can’t make the most of the times I feel super-productive, but it also doesn’t mean I have to wait for those times. The best time to write is now. My only problem is getting this damn beginning right. Yes, I am still waffling over how and where to begin this latest book. Some books start perfectly, others reveal themselves slowly. This one is probably the slowest yet. But when it’s right, it’ll be RIGHT.
In other news, there are some sales on a few of my books. If you missed Behind the Palace Walls, or just want to give it as a gift, you can get it on your Kindle for $2.74 or in paperback for $2.88. And The Devil’s Heart is an amazing $1.37 in Large Print paperback!
How’s that for Happy Holiday shopping? 😉