Whatever Works

I’m writing this at 4:15 AM, which has somehow become the end of my regular workday.

I’m in the middle of revising Wildergirls to send back to my agent, and I’ve found myself surprised at the way my process has changed. When I was writing the very first draft, I squirreled away tiny chunks of time while at my office job. Five minutes here, another fifteen there (if I was lucky), and whatever I could manage at the end of the day to get to my 1k a day goal. While writing the second draft, I became That Person – the one who sits at the same table in the same coffee shop for hours on end.

I thought I was a daytime writer. A desk writer. An “X words a day” writer. But now that I’m in revisions, I can’t seem to get my brain in gear until I’m settled in bed at 1:00 AM.

I’m lucky, in that my day to day life can absorb a drastic change in schedule like that. Not everyone is, and that can be incredibly frustrating. In the past I’ve found myself arriving at my most productive time of day just when I need to go to sleep. But these days I have that flexibility, and if you can, if you’re able, I say take what’s working and run with it. Work with your brain, not against it. Your routine will change a hundred times over, and that’s fine.

Sure, my old routine felt more Writerly. I ordered coffee refills, and I got on a first name basis with the cashier, and I figured out which table got the best light. But that’s not working for me anymore, and my current process might not look like what I pictured, but it gets the job done. It gets the words on the page. So I’ll work with it for now.

P.S. Please consider every instance of the word “work” in this post a pun. Like, I’m not exactly sure how they’re puns, but they’re puns.

3 responses to “Whatever Works”

  1. Some of my best writing is at 3AM when I can’t sleep. I don’t understand why, seeing as my brain is completely zonked out.


    1. Right? I think something about the late hour helps me turn off my self-editing – my brain’s worked too hard during the day, so come late night it’s just like, “Whatever, I’m past caring if this is good or not.”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thats basically it. I wrote most of my first short story from 3am-5am one night. Checked it in the morning, and thought “with a bit of editing, this actually isn’t bad.”


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