Archive for September 18th, 2015

Music-lovin’ night owl writes when the mood strikes

Day 6 of the 5-Week Author Blog Challenge focuses on the writing process. All 35 posts for this Challenge will be focused on writing, publishing, and book marketing. My writing process for my novel is a bit scattered. Nonfiction is a different story entirely! I hope you’ll stick around through all 35 posts. And if you want to take part, come on in – the water is great! You can register here.


Day 6 writing prompt:

Take us through your writing process. Do you keep a regular writing schedule? Do you write on your laptop or longhand? Do you have a favorite place to write? Are you most inspired in the morning, afternoon, evening, or middle of the night?

Oh, how I’d love to tell you I am an organized, orderly writer. We have prompts coming up about the outlining process and about where the idea for our book originated – in hindsight, those probably should have come first, as there’s overlap, to be sure. I was amazingly organized in my outlining and will share those details on Day 10.

writing at night

When it comes to writing, however, I’m more of a “when I have a few minutes” … “when I look at the calendar and feel the time ebbing away since the last time I sat down to add a couple of paragraphs to Stan’s travels” … “when I have a new idea” … “when I want to re-read a section to see if I got a detail correct” kind of gal.

About 10 months ago, I went up to a friend’s home in New River – a town about an hour north of my home in Metro Phoenix – to stay in her guest house, isolated from TV, laundry, and other distractions. I got a lot of writing done in those two days, and probably need to make another similar mini writing sabbatical soon.

That’s the fiction side of things. When it comes to nonfiction, I’m in my zone! I’m organized and write straight through until a blog post, paper, or book (OK, increments here) is finished. This makes sense, if you think about it. Nonfiction has a specific message that must be conveyed in a particular order. If you know your material (and/or work from a well-developed outline), you know what comes next. Fiction, on the other hand, is always a work in progress. It develops little by little, one character or scene at a time. Unless they’ve got an amazing imagination and a photographic memory, no fiction author knows every detail that’s going to unfold until they sit down to write.

I most definitely write on my laptop – a machine without which I cannot fathom getting any work done. How did we do it when we were strapped to a desk? When our phones had to plug into one wall and stay there? Without research of the world available at our fingertips via the Internet? Without the unobtrusive communication mechanism of email?

My hours are, without question, nocturnal. I’m not one of those who complains that a 7 a.m.

Night Owl Society

Night Owl Society

meeting is too early, but you won’t find me scheduling meetings at that hour. I’m usually sitting down, ready to work no earlier than 11 a.m. – but then, again, I’m awake and often working into the wee hours. There’s a fascinating piece on HuffPost about night owls – one characteristic of which tends to be creativity. It also mentions a guy who created a group called the Night Owl Society, which is dedicated to creative freelancers who are regularly up late.

I tend to prefer working to music. If it’s Pandora, it’s usually the U2 station or Celtic Radio. (Just an aside, I also have Chicago Radio on my playlist – but every time I listen to it, they play three Eagles songs for every song by Chicago. WTF?!) I have a graphic design colleague who says he can’t work with any music or noise at all because it’s too distracting. For intense editing or really focused writing, I would agree. Any work of graphical nature is only enhanced by music, in my opinion.

What about you? Do you have a special writing space, hour of the day, or ambiance enhancer that brings your muse to life? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Check back tomorrow when I’ll be discussing writers’ block.

And for the record, I’d love your feedback on my Author Blog Challenge posts! And, of course, would really love to have you support all of the bloggers in the Challenge. Find their links here.

Here’s to whatever it takes to let the words flow!



We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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