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When Should I Write?

I write all times of day, but you need to find your own rhythm
I write all times of day, but you need to find your own rhythm

My private clients and book-writing students often ask me if there’s a best time to write. Yes, there often is, but that perfect time varies from person to person. If you want to find out the best time for you, try early morning, mid morning, mid-afternoon and evening. See which seems to be your most creative time.

Do you have to write at the same time every day? Many people find that writing at the same time each day makes them more productive. Honestly, since I write so much, at all times of day, I find I can write just about any time of day as long as I’m not too tired. But, if you don’t write all day long, it can be most powerful to write at the same time each day. That way, your creative mind and muse get in a creative groove.

Morning tends to be a powerful time to write, because the mind isn’t cluttered. You’ve just been sleeping and you’re close to that creative sleep/dream energy, full of symbolism and layered meanings. Perfect.

Evening can be productive, too, if you can put aside your concerns of the day–work, meal planning, conversations, people–and clear your mental and emotional slates for writing.

enjoy-writingSome people feel peak energy mid-day. If this describes you, go for it.

What about writing in the middle of the night? A student in my Bring Your Book to Life Program found herself waking up in the middle of the night to write. She enjoyed the flow of ideas, but she paid for it the next day when she dragged herself to work. This happened several days in a row. What to do?

As we spoke, it became clear that her jam-packed days made it hard for her muse to settle down and write. She often didn’t have the time and, when she did make time to write, she felt rushed. Once she made time for her muse during the work day, set some boundaries, and took a few items off her plate, she didn’t need to wake up in the middle of the night to write her book.

In tonight’s book writing teleseminar, one student asked how she can consistently get into the space for her writing to flow. Writing at the same time of day can help that. So can creating a ritual for writing. What ritual might get you into a creative, inspired state?

Share your comments: What time of day works best for you and why?

Ask your questions, too.

Lisa Tener

Lisa Tener is an award-winning book writing coach who assists writers in all aspects of the writing process—from writing a book proposal and getting published to finding one’s creative voice. Her clients have appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CBS Early Show, The Montel Williams Show, CNN, Fox News, New Morning and much more. They blog on sites like The Huffington Post, Psychology Today and WebMD.

Reader Interactions


  1. Michelle Girasole says

    Hey Lisa! This has to be an issue for 90% of the people who want to write their books – WHEN?

    I wanted to share a mindset shift that allowed me to open up an extra hour of time in the mornings. I was looking at my book project as “work” and trying to fit it into work hours. My work responsibilities always took priority, and for a few weeks, I was frustrated with my lack of progress.

    When I decided to shift the way I thought of this – from work writing to personal journaling, I decided I would wake up an hour earlier, a quiet time before the kids woke up and the emails started. While I would not regularly get up early to do more work, I love this “me time”! I make myself a cup of tea, and wrap up in a comforter with my journal and my pen and get my book out of my head and onto paper.

    That simple shift cleared my block and allowed the creativity and the words to start flowing. Ahhhhh.

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