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Article Marketing Writing: Is The Afternoon “Mental Dead Time” For You?
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Professional writers face the challenge of writing every single day on a myriad of topics, some of them unfamiliar to them. They do this week in and week out, year in and year out.

Due to necessity, they’ve not only honed their writing skills, but they’ve also honed their writing routine so that they approach the task of writing in a strategic way.

Whenever you’re learning a new skill, it really helps to look to those who are super experienced. They know tricks that they’ve learned the hard way. They have secrets that have taken them years to learn. They can pass along valuable knowledge that saves those who are less experienced oodles of time.

That’s why it caught my attention when I learned that a very high number of professional writers do their writing in the morning.

Would writing in the early morning help you? You’ll never know unless you give it a decent try. That’s why we’re starting the “Wake Up & Write!” challenge in exactly one week, where we’ll do a month long experiment with early morning writing.

In preparation for this challenge, I’ve been doing some research on other writing routines/habits of professional writers. I found this very cool post in which they compared the writing habits of professional writers. The study used information from 10 professional non-fiction writers, and the results were eye-opening. I’ll sum them up here:

When do professional writers write?

Out of the nine writers who discussed what time of day they wrote, all nine wrote in the morning. Some of them also wrote at other times of day (afternoon or evening), but every one of the writers in the study said that they always began their writing in the morning. They started writing between 6am and 8:30am.

Interestingly, several of the writers described the afternoon as “mental dead time”.

Is the afternoon mental dead time for you, when it comes to writing?

I don’t know–sometimes I write in the afternoon, usually not in the evening though as I’m tired by then and there is a lot more activity going on around me (hard to concentrate). There have been some times when I’ve tried to write in the afternoon and I felt mentally dead. What about you?

Ahh, Isolation…

Six out of the ten writers gave very specific information about where they preferred to write, and I thought it was really interesting that all six said they preferred to write in a lonely, isolated, quiet place that was free of distractions.

When I say “free of distractions” I mean a bare office with no internet or phone and no windows. Wow.

One thing I’ve noticed about the writers’ habits is that they’re serious about eliminating distractions. They take things to extreme measures to create an environment where they can concentrate.

How many of us would choose to spend time in a room without a window? One of the writers said his office was in his windowless garage. Another’s was a 9×9 cubicle in a basement. Now, that’s hard core.

Think of all the effort and thought we put into assembling our offices–framed pieces of art on the wall, a nice desk, desktop accessories–when maybe we would work more productively in the barest of offices with fewer visual distractions. Just something to think about…

Getting Down To Business

Now, the point of this post is not to try to get you to shun society and work in a windowless hut in the woods (although the thought of that might sound attractive to some of us!).

The point is that these professional writers know how to “get down to business”. They have a strategy when it comes to writing. They may not be the most organized people in other aspects of their lives, but they have learned to organize a writing strategy because it suits their purposes.

I can see how the structured approach aids these professional writers, and I can imagine how it could help me too. That’s why I want to do the early morning writing as an experiment for a month to see if it might be a permanent thing I want to incorporate into my life.

Maybe after that, I’ll experiment with working in a lonely corner of my darkened garage. ;)

What about you?

Do you think you could benefit from a more structured writing time?

If so, then I hope you’ve signed up for the Wake Up & Write! challenge that’s starting next week (Monday, April 23).

You can sign up by just going to the original Wake Up & Write post and leaving a comment saying that you’re on board. It’s that simple!


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One Response to “Article Marketing Writing: Is The Afternoon “Mental Dead Time” For You?”

  1. I’m a ghostwriter with a variety of clients, and yes, if find I do my best writing in the morning. I have a routine that I follow nearly every day. I go to the library, where they have a beautiful room, with large windows open to the daylight, where people can sit and work, uninterrupted. It is not isolated, but I don’t have to get involved in anything going on there, either. In the afternoon, I come home to do my typing, and in the evening I send out whatever is ready to send back to my clients.

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