Find the Conditions That Help You Write Your Best
Are you a morning person or someone who works best late at night? Do you prefer total silence or the hustle and bustle of a local coffee shop? Our best writing doesn’t just come from our ideas, it also comes from the conditions that we put ourselves in.
First, let me just say there is no singular ‘right’ condition. What works for me, might not work for you. In fact, your magic conditions might change depending on the task at hand. For example, you might prefer a busy environment filled with characters when writing a script, but might need total isolation to write a manifesto. The point is, where and how you write is just as important as the words you put down to pixels.
Morning vs. Night
Whether you write best in the AM or the PM, the most important thing to do is to prioritize your day so you can use those precious ‘magic’ hours for writing. Put off your doctors appointment until lunchtime if you’re a morning copymaster, or get your less creative tasks done early if you prefer to write later in the day. Either way, set up your schedule to capture the magic.
I ALWAYS do my best writing in the morning. I’m fresh, and I’ve been able to sub-consciously think about the assignment (or not think about it) while sleeping. As the day goes on, I tend to find myself either bogged down with small interruptions or simply too worn out to do my best work. If I know I have a big copy assignment, I’ll treat myself to a relaxing morning routine that helps me sit down and start writing without interruption.
Pick Your Playlist
Music is great for a lot of things. It can help you focus. It can inspire a ‘mood’ that you’re looking to capture in your writing. It can also be a distraction if you need total silence. I typically go without music. I like the silence, because I distract easily, so the less noise in my brain the better.
However, music can be a really powerful way to get ‘in the zone.’ If I’m in a writing emergency, I reach for the same go-to playlist that I use every time. The music is super familiar to me because I’ve heard it hundreds of times, so it’s not distracting.
Location Location Location
Where you write should help bring out your best writing. Don’t make the mistake of assuming ‘where you write best’ is also the place you feel most comfortable. For example, I’m most relaxed in my living room, but I find it near impossible to write from my couch. There’s simply too many distractions and other tasks that I associate with it, so do yourself a favor and find a dedicated work space that helps you block out distractions.
Some people like to work out of a coffee shop, because they can feed off of the busy energy and get inspired by the people around them. If you’re writing a script, use your impression of strangers to help mold the story. People watching is a great way to inspire a backstory or uncover your next protagonist.
Time, location and sound are only a few things to consider when figuring out the right conditions for you to write. Maybe you have a specific temperature that heats up your brain, or a favorite kombucha that get you in the right state of mind. If you haven’t figured out your best conditions yet, just continue to listen to your body and not the conditions for when writing good copy seems easiest. It takes time and experimentation to figure out your magic hour. What conditions work for you? Share your favorites or most quirky in the comments.