Wednesday, October 05, 2011
My Fiction Day - When It Flows . . . and When I Need a Plunger
We have productive and less productive times. For instance, I do not function before 9 AM. If I'm really smoking a manuscript the night before, thus staying up until 3 AM, my eyes don't open before 11 AM. It sounds lazy, but it's my eight-hour sleep cycle. It just happens to be when others are awake and kicking.If I went to bed at 10 PM, I'd lie awake until 2.
Nonfiction is work. It brings in the income. It's somewhat creative, but doesn't exactly tap my mystical forces, you know? I like it and it comes natural for me, but there's something about diving in the midst of an argument between Slade and Wayne (my main characters in my mystery series) that gets my juices flowing. Much more so than talking about the proper irrigation of grass or how to pitch literary agents.
Actually, I think that's why I try to insert some kick-butt attitude or humor in my pieces. It lets me be spunky instead of journalistic. Okay, not that you journalists out there don't have personalities, but face it. When you're limited to column inches and word counts so tight they creak, you understand how jokes and jabs get cut in the process.
I'm often asked about my writing schedule. It's not rocket science, it's definitely not locked in concrete, and it probably doesn't fit your lifestyle, but here goes.
10 or 11 or 12 noon (whenever I open my eyes) - Email, blog reading, maybe research for FundsforWriters
2-5 PM - gym (running), gardening, chickens, errands
5-8 PM - working on newsletters, research, nonfiction writing. I have been known to sit on the back porch with hubby, both with a bourbon, him with a cigar, while I read something aloud. He loves to hear it and I find all kinds of nasty mistakes when I do.
8-10 PM - time with family with frequent checks of email during commercials or lulls - if no serious family time or if I'm on deadline, I just work. I've been known to bring work to my lap while seated with family while watching a movie or cop/attorney show ( love mysteries). I can't stand down time, so I work during breaks.
10-2 or 3 AM - writing, writing, writing. Blogs, essays, editorials, novel, you name it. Some may notice that my Tweets and Facebook messages occur mid-day or during this time, at night.
Of course I'm flexible. I may be building a chicken coop or transplanting bushes, unable to start and stop at the computer because I'm covered with dirt and chicken . . . stuff. I lighten up when guests come to town, and for at least one day a week. But it's rare when my hands don't hit a keyboard each and every day.
But in terms of quality and the clock? There's just something about daylight that works better for me with nonfiction, while my fiction thrives at night. Right now I need a nonfiction plunger because it sure ain't flowing. Tomorrow will probably be a different story. Hope so.
How about you? What's your magical time to write?