Workable #19: Set a Time That Works

The data all point to one conclusion: you must write at the time that works for you.

Workable #19: Set a Time That Works
Photo by Daniele Levis Pelusi / Unsplash

When I was in college, I’d wait until after midnight. I’d turn on some jazz, light some incense, and let the muse float into the room.

Now that I’m older, however, I’m almost never up late enough to see that.

We have so much information about famous writers and when they wrote.

The Marginalian, Maria Popova, commissioned this great visualization. You can read more about it: "Famous Writers' Sleep Habits vs. Literary Productivity, Visualized."

The data all point to one conclusion: you must write at the time that works for you.

The question, then, isn’t when to write. It’s what routine will cue you to write. For me, my best time these days is in the morning, a far cry from those college nights. What cues me to write? My morning habits: meditation and morning pages.

Ask yourself: What will trigger my art? What will get me to the page or to the canvas? Use your answers to these questions to help you find a trigger that works for you. (NOTE: If a trigger works for a little while but then starts to fail, fine! Try a different trigger.)

Therefore, don’t worry about what time of day so-and-so writes. You aren’t so-and-so. Set a time that works for you.


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