May 12, 2013
It is said that the closer the brain is to the sleeping state, the more creative it is. For this reason, many writers keep their notepad by their beds and make sure that the very first thing they do when they open their eyes each morning, is write.
The resultant notes are called “morning pages”. Morning pages might contain what a writer remembers of their dreams or perhaps the writer will simply jot down the very first words that come to mind that day. Some writers say that this exercise helps them ‘slip’ more easily into what writers’ call the “rapture” when a writer feels ideas are pouring into their mind from elsewhere.
Just as the waking moments are a bridge from the sleeping state into sober reality – the hour before you go to bed is often a creative time with the brain slipping into that semi conscious state. Hence there are plenty of writers who write late at night.
And just to show that there are no rules, there are other writers who find their most productive hours are in the middle of the day when all of life’s busyness is in full swing (the Harry Potter author, J.K. Rowling is a good example. She wrote her first book in a busy Edinburgh café).
So, I guess the point is that different times of the day work for different people and it is really of no consequence whether you are a morning, day or night writer. What is important is that you write and that you find your ideal writing time. Experiment. Find what works for you and then set an hour aside each day at that time and write. Likewise, writers have very personal tastes regarding an environment conducive to writing. There are those who like music or TV buzz in the background and those who can only write in silence. Find whatever works for you.g
From Ireland, Sue Healy is Literary Manager at the Finborough Theatre, London, a full-time Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Lincoln. Her book on theatre literary management is published by Routledge, December 2022.
Sue is an award-winning writer for stage, TV, and prose writer.
Her current project, a 6x60minute TV series, is under option. She is under commission with Lone Wolf Media, producers behind PBS’ “Mercy Street”, to co-write the pilot and treatment for a six-part TV series.
Her most recent stage-play, Imaginationship (2018), enjoyed a sold out, extended run at the Finborough and later showed at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough. Her previous stage productions include Cow (Etcetera Theatre, 2017) and Brazen (King’s Head Theatre, 2016), funded by Arts Council England. Sue’s short plays have been performed at the Criterion (Criterion New Writing Showcase), Arcola (The Miniaturists) and Hackney Attic (Fizzy Sherbet Shorts).
Her radio work includes nine plays broadcast on BBC Radio 4 (Opening Lines winner), WLRfm and KCLR96fm.
Sue has won The Molly Keane Award, HISSAC Prize, Escalator Award, Meridian Prize and has been published in nine literary journals and anthologies including: The Moth, Flight, Tainted Innocence, New Writer, Duality, HISSAC, New European Writers. She has been writer-in-residence on Inis Oírr, Aran Islands, and at the Heinrich Boll Cottage on Achill Island. She has also benefitted from annual artist residencies at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, and at Ginestrelle, Assisi in Italy.
An academic with a PhD in modern theatre history, specifically the Royal Court Theatre, Sue has presented her research internationally. She spent eleven years in Budapest, editing Hungary A.M. She has a PhD in modern theatre history (Royal Court Theatre) and is a UEA Creative Writing MA alumnus.
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May 12th, 2013 at 09:02
It is an interesting issue. My writing times tend to be dictated somewhat by the weather. In summer, I like to write in the middle of the day when the heat is harsh. I venture out to do other things in the early morn or late afternoon. In winter, I reverse: I write in the early morning and late afternoon/evening and venture out in the middle of the day to catch some sun.
May 12th, 2013 at 09:06
I keep a digital voice recorder next to my bed. My handwriting is so slow that I forget what I was writing. Whatever works, go for it.
May 12th, 2013 at 13:49
I’ve gotten up in the middle of the night to write down an idea that came to me because even though I think I’ll remember it the next day, I don’t. Many idea have been lost because I didn’t write them down in the wee hour. Lesson learned. Thanks for a nice reminder. Enjoyed your post.
May 12th, 2013 at 14:44
I find it hard to sit down and write if I have chores that need to be completed; they seem to needle at me and ruin my train of thought. That’s why I write my best stuff only when they’ve been completed – so evening time is usually best for me.
May 12th, 2013 at 18:52
I’m mostly an early morning person but the just before bed moment works well too. ‘Rapture,’ such a good word for that invincible feeling of being fully in the creative flow.
May 13th, 2013 at 07:26
i think i’m gonna try this… i’m gonna spend a week writing during each time of the day, and see what works for me. i am so bad at disciplining myself. so, we’ll see what happens. thanks so much for the inspiration! 🙂
May 13th, 2013 at 11:53
Unfortunately, my best writing time hits in the a.m. between 5 and 10 when I’m at work. 😦 So I scramble to remember everything brewing and get as much down at my 9:00 break as I can.
May 16th, 2013 at 16:22
I write when I get inspired. 🙂