When do you write your best stuff?

November 7th, 2007
By Jon H
When do you write your best stuff?

Knowing when you can write your best work is crucial. Whether it’s when you first get up, after lunch, after you’ve had a workout, or in the small hours of the morning; it will affect how you write, the ideas you get and what goes down on paper. For me, in the middle of the night is better, writing good content and concentrating on what I’m actually writing. I used to do this because I would become distracted by many things during the day, by more other interesting things to do, like going to the pub, watching a football match or playing pool with friends – I don’t think the question (or title) should be when you write your best stuff, as this will be different for many different people. Some people are early birds, whilst others (including me) are night owls, and have different times of the day when they can best perform. For today, I believe that whenever you are writing, you require a solid grounding to excel, hence the 5 tips below.

5 tips for writing your best stuff

  1. Loose the Stress
  2. Being stressed will cause you to loose focus on what you are writing, making you think about what you are stressed about and not on the project/paper you need to be working on. Whether this is relationship trouble, financial worries, or (could it ever be) course work or lecture issues, it is best to talk to someone and not keep everything bottled up. You need a clear mind when you begin writing a paper, whether it will count towards your final grade or not, you need to clear settle yourself. Going to the gym for a workout works for some people, and they’ll release enzymes in their body, causing them to relax and allow them to focus on the topic at hand.

  3. Know what you want to say
  4. At R2G I do focus a lot towards having a plan before you start something, whether it is written down in detail, in a form of clouds, or clearly pictured in your mind, you will need know what you are going to say and how you are going to say it. Stumbling into writing a paper, and not having a plan won’t help at all, even if you already have all the research material and a strong cup of coffee, as you’ll loose focus too quickly and probably vear off to a disjointed view of the topic/question.

  5. Get away from everything
  6. Go to your quiet place, switch off the stereo, TV, mobile/cell, and ignore your friends and family. To fully concentrate and write productively you will need to eliminate all distractions. Receiving a text message from a friend may distract you and cause you to go ‘for one’ down the road to the pub, but having this distraction will only cause you stress and panic later on when you’re falling over and still haven’t written your paper – I know I’ve tried doing it! So, for the time being, turn off Skype, IM, and your phone to concentrate on the important stuff.

  7. Focus your mind
  8. Having clear thoughts when writing can allow your mind to not only focus on what you’re writing, but also allow it to wander into other more interesting aspects. Meditating, having a workout, going for a walk, or having a glass of red (that would be my choice) before/whilst you’re writing your paper can help you concentrate more on what you are actually doing, rather than drawing you away from your work. Trying different techniques can be an advantage as some can have positive affects on your written content.

  9. Make sure you have a pen and a keyboard
  10. Having either of the above is quite handy, as trying to formulate your writing without one of them could be tricky (yes, I know you could use a pencil, but then that wouldn’t fit!). You could try and remember your thoughts, but if you’re like me then you’ll probably not remember much!

    If you decide to type your answer up straight away, then a suggest having a pen and paper to hand, why? You can jot down ideas and thoughts, and draw diagrams a lot easier on paper than you can with a computer screen and keyboard – it’ll save you time and you will be able to closely focus your answer.

    Remember: You don’t have to adopt all of these tips, but you should try to adopt as many as you can. Disregarding all of the above could bring a little bit of negativity to your work and your voice as an author, so watch out.

The Discussion

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  • November 8th, 2007
    4:46 am

    nice article, thanks. I find that I write best without interruptions, I tend to loose focus. I don’t know where I do my best writing, I can write just about anywhere I have my laptop but I do my best thinking in the shower 🙂

    Have writers blog… go take a shower. Scott

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