What's the best time to write? In an article in the New York Times, Merrill Markow reveals the secret of finally overcoming her procrastination regarding writing.
Her description of what kept her from writing may sound familiar to a lot of us: "Each time my efforts were thwarted by the tyrannical voices in my head, which grew louder as the hour grew later, berating me for not taking care of bills, cleaning, shopping, grooming, pet care, more bills, more grooming. And if I got caught up in those things, the voices would quickly remind me that I was too ill informed to begin writing even a personal anecdote without undertaking years of painstaking research."
Keep in mind that this is from a woman who has been a writer for 25 years. She always wrote, but it was a huge struggle to start each time.
"When I tried writing at 6am, to my complete surprise I effortlessly wrote 15 pages that first day. The same thing happened when I did it the next day and the day after that."
Her conclusion: "Words come pouring out easily while my head still feels as if it has full of ground fog, wrapped in flannel and gauze, and surrounded by a hive of humming, velvety sleep bees."
What's interesting about this is that she had never been a morning writer. Her habit had been to try writing around 3pm, only to encounter that vicious inner critic she described so well.
I've used the time between being awake and falling asleep, and the time between being asleep and becoming awake for brainstorming, but not for actual writing. Sounds like it might be worth a try.
(Do you want friendly guidance for writing your book? You'll find it in my book, Your Writing Coach, published by Nicholas Brealey and available from Amazon or your other favorite bookseller.)