First thing in the morning. Late at night. Lunch breaks. Weekends. Vacations. When is the best time to write? Everyone has jobs. Commitments. Responsibilities. A family even. Groceries. Laundry. Cows to milk. There’s always something. The trick is finding time that works for you.
One of the most esteemed writers in Hollywood, Ron Bass, was working full time as an attorney in Los Angeles when he started writing screenplays. While he was married. With young children. So he got up at 4:30am everyday to type before diaper duty. And wrote Rain Man. Diablo Cody wrote Juno on her lunch breaks. By hand. At the McDonald’s. In the Walmart. In Minnesota.
Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones — who has time to write during the day.
But then there’s the whole muse thing. The angels. The mojo. The unknown quantity that shows up when you least expect it. How do you plan for that? Well, if it comes at the same time each day, by all means, lean into it. Brew you up a cup of cocoa at 10:36p each night and let her rip. Then work everything else out around it. Hemingway used to wake up and type every morning because that’s when he felt it come to him. Granted, the rest of the day he was drunk, but you get the idea.
If you don’t find you’re better at night or funnier in the morning, be careful of falling into the age-old trap of waiting for inspiration. This is the worst way of procrastinating. You could be working on your eulogy before you get to anything else. After all, many believe the muse shows up when you do. So pick your favorite watering hole or patio chair and get on with it. The angels will find you.
Whatever you decide, best to come up with a plan. Work out a schedule. Set some goals. Be consistent. Write 2 pages every night before bed. Or 5 pages every other day. Or 1 page every lunch. Do what you got to do to make it work. Inevitably, you’ll look back at the week happier that you wrote something rather than nothing. And before you know it, you’ll find yourself having written those all elusive words… “Fade Out.”