I know a writer who can sit at the computer for hours without being able to turn out much usable work. The moment he comes back to the computer after dinner, though, he can pound out a couple thousand words without breaking a sweat. In order to do his best work, this particular writer sleeps late, handles administrative tasks and research during the day and arranges his day so that he can do nothing but write in the evenings.
That’s not always an option, of course — if you’re juggling a day job or a family along with your freelancing, someone else may be choosing what hours you can spend writing. However, there can be options for rearranging your schedule, especially if you know your best times for writing.
Finding Your Writing Hours
I’ve always known that the first couple of hours I’m awake every morning, I’m just not as good of a writer as I can be. I know that midday is my best time for getting my work done. You may already know when your best working hours are. If no time period sticks out, though, you may have to discover your best hours. If you’re already tracking your work — how much you get done in a particular hour — it’s just a matter of comparing what you’re getting done at different times of the day.
Negotiate Your Work Schedule
Carving out the time you need to work every day can require some negotiation, both with yourself and with the people around you. If you work best first thing in the morning, but you’re currently spending that time getting dressed, making lunches and getting ready for the day, there are several options: the standard response seems to be to get up earlier in the morning, but if that doesn’t appeal, an alternative might be to see how much of your morning routine can be shifted to the night before. If you’re not packing lunches, that’s at least a few minutes that can be spent on writing.
Don’t be constrained by your existing schedule. Even if you’ve been on the same schedule at work for years, it’s still negotiable. Want a little more time to write at lunchtime? Talk to your boss about lengthening your break — maybe you can come in a little earlier or stay a little later. Some freelancers even work out deals with their employers that they can work on freelance projects during slow times at work as long as they’re reaching certain goals.