on when i write
I don't have a strict schedule that governs when I write, but I've noticed certain times of day are better than others when for particular parts of the writing process. I'm sure this is nothing groundbreaking, but I'm curious if anyone else feels similarly.
Nighttime is my favorite time to start writing; I get far more ideas at night than I do in the morning. I suspect this is because my inhibitions are lower at night after a long, tiring day, which lets me notice all the little voices in my head. With my rational brain exhausted, I can pay more attention to whims that bubble up, like topics I want to examine or people I want to write to. In addition, because I don't have any more impending deadlines to worry about for the rest of the day, my mind is free to wander. To take advantage of this prolific mindset, I keep pen and paper close by and write down everything I think of. I even stay up late to fully exhaust some ideas, because I know from experience that this state of mind disappears in the morning.
The quieter my surroundings are, the easier it is for me to generate ideas, so I schedule time to do nothing. If I can't do absolutely nothing, I do something like pack or tidy up, without listening to any music or the TV to avoid drowning out my subconscious.
After I wake up in the morning, I review what I wrote the night before. After one sleep, many of these ideas seem like hogwash, but occasionally I find something I want to keep and hold onto it. My written voice changes from morning to night, so I try to word vomit as much onto the page as I can when an idea strikes to avoid awkward voice switches.
The morning after a productive night is the best time to proofread and edit ruthlessly. I'm rested now, and the time away lets me get a fresh read of my writing. I read what I've written aloud, correct grammar mistakes, finish unfinished sentences, and rearrange parts that don't flow. While I wrote the essence of the idea the night before, this phase is where I spend the most time, fleshing out my ideas and mulling small changes.
After I'm done I give it a few more final reads aloud before hitting Publish or sealing the envelope. If I have the luxury of time I like to forget about what I wrote and let it sit for a few days. Then, further removed from the writing process, I can get another fresh look at it and appraise my writing more objectively. I'm never fully satisfied with what I've written, but after all this I usually can get it into a state I'm happy with.