13925069_1366323253382391_39197811937142014_nSo my first iteration didn’t work out perfectly which, actually, was expected. If you recall, in my post from August 1 I said:

“For my first two weeks, Aug 1 to Aug 14, I will be travelling between my former home and new home, so I’ve decided to test the input of light exercise over factors I think are actually more important to my writing (like place, writing time, and music/noise) which I cannot control given my extended travel. Each day before writing, I will stretch and take a ten minute run (hey, it’s hot out okay?) to see if that unsettles or invigorates me.”

Yeah, not only was I travelling between my former home and new home, we’re also experiencing a heat wave and I traveled to NYC, too. The times that I did actually run, I found that my ability to focus on writing was unusually high afterwards. But that likely had something to do with the fact that I was already feeling pretty motivated that day since, you know, I worked up the energy to go running and all (correlation not causation, anyone?). Unfortunately, most days the running didn’t happen and so the writing never got started either. Bummer.

For the next two weeks, however, I will be home and better able to get into a routine. I’ll be trying something new from Aug 15 to Aug 30, this time the input of ‘time of day’. Each day at 3:30 p.m. I’m going to try writing for an hour with no distractions. I picked this for two reasons – it’s a really easy goal to keep track of (set an alarm – you can’t procrastinate!) and also on an email suggestion from a blog follower who said “I just had a chance to read this [DIY MFA post] and wanted to offer a couple of things that work for me when I’m “frozen.”… I’ve determined that writing comes easiest during a certain time period, for me that’s from mid-morning through early afternoon. So if I can, I start writing these during this period.”

Thanks, John, for the advice! I’m hopefully going to try this iteration at a couple different times of day throughout the next few months to see what works best as grad school begins and the like. Many writers have discussed the importance of time of day to their writing routine; Ernst Hemingway said “When I am working on a book or a story I write every morning as soon after first light as possible. There is no one to disturb you and it is cool or cold and you come to your work and warm as you write. You read what you have written and, as you always stop when you know what is going to happen next, you go on from there.”

Do any of you write better at certain times of day – or find writing is impossible too early in the morning or late at night?


Meghan Barrett is a student at Drexel University, earning her PhD in Biology. She previously attended the State University of New York at Geneseo, where she earned a B.S. in Biology and English/Creative Writing and was a part of the Honors College. Meghan was a founding member of NeuWrite/Edu, a science-writing collaboration group at Geneseo, and worked as a Writing Intern for Phi Beta Kappa's Online News Site, The Key Reporter.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *