Wednesday, September 2, 2020


It would be so nice if someone could just tell me the exact time I am supposed to write every day to access my most creative narratives and focused thoughts. I could set an alarm, call a sitter, silence my phone, and just write. It would be amazing. I could outline my book, write the dialogue for a specific scene, plan out chapters—I could do all the things! If only someone could just tell me when to do that...

But the truth is, I probably already know when that time of day is. Every writer, deep down, most likely knows exactly when they should be writing. Some people are early birds and feel their most creative powers come alive after just experiencing a restful night’s sleep filled with wondrous dreams. Others are night owls and feel inspiration strike when the house is quiet, their family is asleep, and a full day’s events are fresh on their mind and ready to draw ideas from.

If you’re an early bird, you’ll probably notice that your willpower is higher earlier in the day and distractions are less of a problem. You also might be aware that your creativity peaks in the morning before your analytical side of the brain takes over as the day wears on. And being able to draw on your natural good mood and motivation that are present in the early hours is definitely something to take advantage of.

As for the night owls, you might crave the feeling of being in no hurry to go anywhere or the need to move on with the day’s regular tasks. The distractions you’ve been dealing with all day are now hushed and you can focus on what is right in front of you. And all the wonderfully mundane things that happened to you that day are ready to process and stick in your story somewhere. The night is surely yours for the taking.


If by chance you don’t know whether you’re an early bird or a night owl writer, I suggest an experiment. Try a whole week where you write first thing in the morning. The next week try writing every night. After two weeks your mind (and probably even your body) will tell you when you’re putting out your best work.

While figuring out your best time to write is important and very helpful, it’s still not the most vital component when it comes to finding the perfect time to write. So when is the perfect time to write? That would be whenever you actually sit down and write! You have to be willing to take time from your day to actually put your creativity into words that someone can read. It might mean forcing yourself to write for 20 minutes even though you have no new ideas in your head. And forcing yourself to do that same thing the next day and the next. It also could mean that you drop whatever you’re doing and write out whatever inspirational thought just entered your mind. Just be willing to do it and then do it. As Jodi Picoult says, “You can’t edit a blank page.”

When are you going to commit to write? Tomorrow? Next week? That’s too far away. Do it now. Like right now. Switch your screen and start writing something amazing. Or start writing something crappy until something wonderful emerges. Don’t wait for inspiration to strike (although it’s so nice when it does) just force yourself to do it. I guarantee your future self will thank you!

Good luck everyone!

Jenna Madsen is one of the original Word Addicts. Her stories appear in the Medley of Fairy Tales Volumes I and II, as well as in Miscellany. Find these books HERE, and follow her on Instagram @sundercreekfarms


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