What time of the day do you write?

Q&A With Shay Each Sunday

Q: What time of the day do you write?

A: Whenever I can now. I have to balance my own writing with my editing projects so I spend a lot of time at my computer, and I’m not the greatest at setting out a plan for the day before I get there. I don’t typically write at night. Usually by dinner, or if I go to the gym in the evening, I call it and watch some TV or read until bed, but sometimes I still do a little work in the evening. Either if I’m feeling inspired or completely overwhelmed by how much I have to do and haven’t gotten done.

Some mornings I go to the gym first thing and then I come home and sit down to work from mid-morning until late afternoon. This is most of the time actually now, but I don’t always end up working on my own writing as opposed to editing projects.

I used to only write in the mornings. It was when I felt most energized and it was nice to accomplish what I felt was most important first thing. I’ll always remember this casual thing someone in my MFA program said, “I feel good about my writing during my first cup of coffee, but by the second cup I feel like I’m a little bit worse.” I still find that hilarious, and maybe a little true, but I’ve found ways to work throughout the day now. It gets SO hard the more tired you get though—as with anything. When I worked at the East Hampton Library, I started writing in the afternoons because I went to work in the mornings. So, my schedule has definitely changed on and off over the years.

It’s great to have the freedom to write when I feel able now without being restricted to a set schedule, but the balancing act with editing has gotten more difficult. So, I guess I need some better day-mapping before getting started to make sure I have time for my own writing everyday, because I know I do, it’s just whether I get to it or not that’s the problem. So, whatever cup of coffee I’m on—morning or night—I will write! (Excuse the rhyme.)

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