What is your most productive time of day and do you need caffeine

Sherry where the cherry blossoms are flying about like pink snowflakes

We are so happy to welcome back author Cheryl Hollan who writes the Webb’s Glass Shop Mystery series. Cheryl knows glass and makes the most beautiful jewelery among many other things.

ShardsCoverLoResHere’s a bit about Shards of Glass the second book in the series: When a glass-making competition turns deadly, glass shop owner Savannah Webb must search for a window into a criminal’s mind…

As the new proprietor of Webb’s Glass Shop, Savannah has been appointed to fill her late father’s shoes as a judge for the Spinnaker Arts Festival, held in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida. With her innovative glass works, the clear winner is Megan Loyola, a student of Savannah’s former mentor.

But when Megan doesn’t show up to accept her $25,000 award, rumors start flying. And when Savannah discovers the woman’s dead body on festival grounds, the police immediately suspect her of murder. To keep from appearing before a judge herself, Savannah sorts through the broken pieces of glass scattered around the victim for clues as to who took this killer competition too far. . .

It sounds great! Take it away, Cheryl:

I’m lucky to have two highly productive writing times. The first is between seven and eight in the morning. I put my fingers on the keyboard and type like a maniac. That’s when the words literally spill onto the page tumbling over each other like acrobats. The second best time is in the late afternoon between four and five. It’s not quite as productive as the early morning, but the words slip onto the page with little effort.

When I’m behind schedule and racing to the finish on a manuscript, I am sometimes forced to write during my less productive times. Then, I have to track down my words like a big game hunter, grab them by the scruff of the neck and stab them onto the page. At least the words are there. They can be revised later. Because as everyone knows, you can’t revise a blank page and sometimes the looming deadline dictates more hours in the chair.

That early morning start demands a strong cup of coffee with a generous helping of half-and-half to get the word flow going. I follow that with some strong black tea. If I’m still in the writing seat for the afternoon, I make some ginger tea. So, my caffeine levels decline during the day. That’s mostly because I need to sleep at night. Finally, after my writing day is finished and I head into the house to start dinner. I pour myself a large glass of wine to reward myself for another day of living my dream.

Author Hollon PhotoMeet the author:
Cheryl Hollon writes full time after she left an engineering career designing and building military flight simulators in amazing countries such as England, Wales, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan and India. Fulfilling the dream of a lifetime, she combines her love of writing with a passion for creating glass art. In the small glass studio behind the house, Cheryl and her husband George design, create, and produce fused glass, stained glass and painted glass artworks.

You can visit Cheryl and her books at:


Readers: What is your most productive time of day?

23 Thoughts

  1. Early in the morning is my creative time. I get another little burst late at night, but in between, I’m much better off doing my day job. Coffee–do you even need to ask? I can function without it…if function means walking around, mumbling incoherently. Love the java, with a biscotti chaser.
    I love your wine comment, Cheryl. How right you are, to take pleasure in the good life you have created!

  2. Right there with you and Ramona at seven, Cheryl, as you know! I mix a token bit of caffeinated coffee in with my decaf, but I weaned myself from caffeine a couple of decades ago, so I don’t actually need it. I’m kind of too energetic even without it, and too much caffeine just makes me nervous. But I love the taste! I keep working after eight for another few hours in the mornings, usually, but I need my break midday for exercise and lunch. Sometimes I work in the afternoon, but usually it’s non creative work like writing (nonfiction) blog posts and all the other business of b being an author. Congrats on the new book!

    1. Hi Edith. I gave up caffeine about ten years ago for two years. I continued to miss the strong coffee and wasn’t having any health issues. Back on coffee, I realized how much I loved it.

  3. My name is Jane/Susannah/Sadie and I am a caffeine-aholic. There, I’ve said it. I have two cups of coffee in the morning (normal coffee mug size, not like giant gutbusters), and sometimes a coffee or a cup of tea in the mid afternoon, and sometimes a decaf after dinner. I just love the stuff 🙂 My most productive writing time (probably due to the caffeine jolt) is between 7:30 and 11:00 in the morning, not that I write for that long every day although I’m working on upping my productivity. Sometimes I get another burst of creativity between 7:00 and 9:00 at night.

    1. Hi Susannah! I love my caffeine in the morning, but must stop even weak tea by about two in the afternoon. Luckily there are some fabulous herb teas that I love. Basically, anything with ginger.

  4. Caffeine? Absolutely! Most creative time is first thing after waking up, my coffee pot is set for 6a.m. so I have fresh brew to fuel my fiction.

  5. Most productive time for me is from 7 to 11 am.Drink coffee all day long. Love the stuff. When deadline looms, I can write all night if necessary. (Deadlines are “good stress” for me. . .holdover from ad copy writing days.)

    1. Hi Carol! Deadlines give me massive energy — my problem is when I’m writing without a deadline, everything drags out too long and then my revision phase takes longer. Ugh – I’m best when I have limited time.

  6. My most productive time is definitely 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Coffee, yes! Two large mugs in the morning. Like you, Cheryl, no caffeine after 2:00 pm or at night it’s like that scene in the Big Chill where Glen Close takes the cocaine and dances on the bed. Not pretty.

    1. I have found some Rooibos tea blends that are strong tasting but have not caffeine. That gets me through the afternoon.

  7. I’m not a morning person. Never have been. It doesn’t seem to matter what time I get up — 5 AM or 9:55 AM, I’m never very functional before 10 AM. My most productive time is early afternoon — say about 1 PM to early evening. I usually do it without caffeine, though. I’ve never cared for the taste of coffee. I do drink a lot of tea, but it’s usually iced, so not too heavy on the caffeine. I take medication for asthma which produces many of the effects of caffeine, though, so I don’t think I’m any worse for wear.

    1. I think it is vital to know when that productive time is so that you can arrange your tasks. I love writing in that prime zone.

  8. Afternoons for me! I have errands and house things done to avoid distraction, and concentrate best then as my mind is fully engaged. I stay up late reading books for review, so my brain needs to catch up and mornings are not my forte… No caffeine for me, but lots of decaf tea!

    1. For many, many, many — actually only until the last fifteen — years I was a night owl and was most productive late afternoon until about two in the morning. But after traveling in about a billion time zones what I finally ended up with was the early morning hours. Crazy.

  9. I’m not a morning person. It takes everything I have to get me out of bed in the morning. I’m not sure when my most productive time of the day is since I don’t have a choice at the day job. I need to be productive all the time.

    And I’m not a coffee or tea drinker. I have some fruit juice with breakfast, and then the rest of the day I drink water.

    1. Hi Mark — thanks for stopping by! In the day job, I managed to slot the critical tasks to my productive time and leave the boring things for the unproductive times. It worked.

    1. Thanks for inviting me to this special blog. I enjoy my time with the all the Wicked – no matter where we meet. See you at Malice!

    1. Time wrangling is a skill that is never quite perfected. See you at Malice!

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