I sit and write. Sometimes, I am often fortunate enough to have many ideas in my head.
And when noon rolls around, I’m done.
Yes, there may be an exception from time to time. A Saturday may roll around where I start writing, it gets to twelve, and I go a bit past this time to get the rest of the idea out on the screen. This is rare, though; for the most part, 12:00 is the time that the mental office closes.
I’m aware of this on work days. I make a point to go to sleep way early—I’m not kidding…like eight o’clock, sometimes even seven—so that I can get up with the bakers at three or four and have two hours to write. I do this because I know that if I don’t have that morning time to write, I’m probably not going to write at all. No, I will not write when I get home, and the notion of writing at night is anathema to me; it’s the morning, and it’s before noon.
The rest of the day, from a writing perspective, is for other things. Generally speaking, the time from noon on is the time that I collect ideas. I go for walks, and I put on my headphones so that I can either read along with an audiobook, or check out music and podcasts. During these times (even at work, during breaks), I have my notepad at the ready so that I can scribble out something if it comes to me.
During the day, I’ll put the assorted ideas that dribble into my head into a separate folder, listing them one by one. This allows me, when I sit down to write in the morning, to go into it with a specific idea. In fact, this very essay came into being by my checking out my idea file this morning, and stopping on the line “When it’s noon, you’re done.”
Some writers, I know, combine their idea hunting writing with their actual essay/story writing, looking for ideas at the same time that they write whatever it is that they want to send out into the world. I’ve tried that, and it’s too stressful (although I welcome when an idea comes to me during the writing of another essay or story, which does happen, albeit rarely). No, I work best when I go into a writing session with a solid idea of what I’m going to write about, and then set to make that idea a piece of writing that I can share with the world.
It’s true that I may break out my microtop during the day and freewrite, so as to see if I can get some ideas (once again for the uninitiated: my microtop is my Bluetooth keyboard, an iPhone stand, and my iPhone, equipped with the app Scrivener, which immediately syncs to my computer for editing). Still, though, the actual writing in which I turn those ideas into final product have one window of time, and that’s between the time I get up, and noon.
There’s actually something freeing about this. If I don’t write part of an essay or story by noon, I just shake it off, and tell myself that today just wasn’t a day for writing. Then I devote the rest of the day to things that are far better suited to those hours.
So that’s it. It is, as I write this, before noon. I shall consult my page of ideas, and work on something else. Then noon will roll around, and I will either walk, read while listening to the same audiobook, check out some music, or check out a podcast, and then let some ideas percolate in my head. I may play my guitar, or a video game, or a board game.
Then I will go to sleep, get up tomorrow, and do the same thing.