Getting into a writing routine.

Having a routine of writing is a good thing, not many will disagree with that – yes, at times a writer does need to step away for some breathing space or to just take stock (or stare at the skyline for inspiration), and other times writer’s block with upset your flow, your balance and no doubt raise your blood pressure – All that aside, some sort of writing routine is a hugely beneficial.

The actual writing part of the project can slide away from you very quickly. Your head might be full of ideas, a full-blown movie going on in your mind, but somehow putting it together in actual words gets postponed again and again, and the longer you leave it, the harder it gets.

It all becomes very “One day…”

A writing routine will help keep you a little bit on track.

If you’re anything like me, you would have started off your writer’s life by writing when the inspiration grabbed you, going like crazy for days or weeks, then somehow losing the motivation and it all settles back into your mind and you’re left there, not crafting words anymore.

If you haven’t written to a routine before, you will find it’s not as easy as it sounds. Writing on demand triggers rebellion. You’ll stare at the blank screen and hate it. Or you’ll put a couple of words down and say, “There! It’s done!” (Okay, okay, so maybe you won’t, you get my drift.)

*

If you want to begin a routine, I suggest starting with something simple. Squish in ten minutes somewhere, somehow. Before you go to work, maybe. Is getting up ten minutes earlier really that hard? What about evening time? Ten minutes before dinner, or after dinner, or just before you turn in. What about lunch breaks? Can you do it then?

If you block yourself from finding that time by finding excuses instead, you might want to ask yourself how much you want to be a writer.

Find the time. Make it five minutes if you can’t do ten. Five minutes of writing and you can go through your day knowing that you’ve done some writing. It’s a good feeling, folks. Try it.

As you progress with this, it becomes easier and you will naturally extend it. If you exercise regularly at all, you’ll be familiar with how “striving” soon becomes “second nature”. That’s what you’re looking at developing.

If you want a crash course and be locked into something – try blogging. For anyone who really wants to get into a routine of writing, blogging on a regular basis will certainly do it! 😀

Cheers everyone!

😀

Allyson

20 thoughts on “Getting into a writing routine.

  1. kcinaz

    My best writing always seems to happen around 2:00 am. Why is it that my mind seems more creative then. By the time I get up in the morning it’s gone. So the only way to save it is to get up and write. 🙂

    Reply
    1. A.D. Everard Post author

      Exactly! That’s me all over. If it starts to flow, particularly if the words are just right, you have to grab it or it’s gone. It doesn’t matter if you’re tired, it’s doesn’t matter if it’s 2:00 in the morning, it’s just something you have to do! I think it has something to do with the subconscious kicking in when you’re relaxed and giving you the info you want. I usually go to sleep thinking about the manuscript and wake up thinking about the manuscript, so it makes sense that some perfect pages will arrive in the middle of the night. 😀

      Reply
    1. A.D. Everard Post author

      Hi Winterbayne. Yeah, I’ve finished for the day and waiting for Greg to get home. Thought I’d check around. I agree with you about the WIP, that’s always most important. Weirdly, I seem to get more done when I blog. It’s like posting something sets me right for the rest of the day.

      How’s it going with you? Are you right into super-busy at the moment, or still setting up for it. It sounds like you guys have a great time. 🙂

      Reply
      1. winterbayne

        I’m winding down. It’s 5 AM here. Got about 1k words out today. Nothing brag worthy but it is progress. West took up most of my day since he was off work today. Read over feedback, got a post ready on the blog – going to post a page from my WIP, now thinking about reading before sleep.

        Reply
        1. A.D. Everard Post author

          Every step counts. I did just shy of 1300 words today – more pieces to the puzzle. It takes time.

          5:00 am? You’ve been up all through the night? You’ll need your sleep. It’s 7:30 pm here.

        2. winterbayne

          I work 3rd shift so these are my normal hours. Sometimes I catch US people around 0600 my time to say good morning before they head to their paycheck jobs. I don’t think I’m going to make it this morning. I got an early start today for non-writing stuff.

          I may be making slower progress, but I am enjoying the process and liking what I write this round of camp. Last camp just got silly. It will take a re-write from the ground up to save that story. This one is starting off much better.

        3. A.D. Everard Post author

          It sounds good. The camp spirit sounds marvellous from what I’ve heard. How many times have you done this now? Is this your second time? I’m glad this time through is going better.

        4. winterbayne

          I’ve officially done it with word count verification and such twice. I did it unofficially three times. The first time I wasn’t sure what to expect so I didn’t upload any of my novel info, but wrote along and visited the forums. Camp is great. I just changed my goals to be more realistic at this point. Can’t do that with Nov Nano. It’s 50k but others still make their own goals. Little rebels. Nov is much more intense and very supportive. Camp is toned down. Laid back.

          I love it for meeting new writers. Interacting with them. I’ve learned so much from it.

        5. A.D. Everard Post author

          It really does sound like a brilliant exercise and a great way to meet like-minded people. That was a good bit of thinking, too, giving it a go unofficially a few times first. I like that, then you have a better idea what you can do.

          It certainly seems to be popular – and growing, I would imagine. 🙂

          Okay, I’ve got to sign off, Greg’s home. 😀 Have a great wind-down and sleep well!

  2. disappearingwoman

    When I’ve attempted novel writing, I could never get further than 100 pages without losing my steam and developing horrendous writer’s block! I have about 10 unfinished books!
    I covered another woman’s position at a PR firm while she was on extended leave last year. I wrote blog posts for several businesses, some magazine articles; did press releases and white papers, as well . I find that sort of fast paced writing, with specific assignments, to be very energizing. I often wonder if I had a boss making me write novel chapters in assignment form, if that would be more effective!

    Reply
    1. A.D. Everard Post author

      That sounds like an excellent way to go about it. What if you and a writing friend team up to each pretend to be a boss for the other. I can imagine it now. “I want that chapter on my desk by the end of the week.”

      You might be onto something! 😀

      I think all writers have unfinished books. I hope you’ve kept yours. You might at look at them again and be inspired once more to get another section done. It took me years to finish my first book.

      Reply
      1. disappearingwoman

        I wish that would work, but my friends are too sweet to give me true consequences! I think it need to be more of a “your paycheck’s on the line if you don’t finish that chapter!” I guess I have a strong need for authority to keep me on track–not really!

        Reply
        1. A.D. Everard Post author

          I know what you mean – it’s that paycheck that packs the punch and gives the real “have-to” element. Dang! I thought we were onto a sure thing.

  3. writingsprint

    I don’t know anything about having a writing routine 😉 . Seriously, though, I love what you say about starting small. I’ve done little 100-word pieces to keep me going sometimes. Usually one of them hits and turns into something bigger. Another is to give yourself permission to write crap. I think all of us, every last one, would enjoy writing and never suffer from writers block if we gave ourselves permission to have fun with it and write whatever we wanted. When the fiction dries up, write poetry. When the romance gets stale, write action.

    Reply
    1. A.D. Everard Post author

      Totally agree. That’s also where having more than one project is great – you get progress and a rest, as well. 🙂

      My thought here were just to get people started. I was remembering back (years ago now) when I would intend to write but not actually get any done for sometimes months at a time. With that memory, and unrelated, came the usual, “Oh my gosh, is that the time? What will I post about today?”

      I then connected the dots and realized that blogging regularly requires discipline and dedication, the very things needed to build a writing routine. 😀

      Having fun with what you write – a big YES! Ooh, and thank you – I’ve got tomorrow’s post now (I know I’ve said that before, and those are still sitting as ideas, but this one I’m going to write up NOW).

      😀

      Reply
      1. writingsprint

        The hard part about having a routine is that it feels like work. That’s where the fun and the flexibility have to come in. You have to be willing to let yourself off the hook and take a day off. You also have to be honest with yourself and keep going when you’re just feeling lazy. Just going for five minutes is a great way to stick with it.

        Reply
        1. A.D. Everard Post author

          Yes, it can feel like work. When you’re a writer and you write every day, then you’ve already worked out the discipline side of it and sometimes the BEST thing is to step away and take time off just to clear your head. After writing my first and second book, back-to-back (the first one’s final draft took 15 months, the second book took 9), I took a month off. I played with ideas, but didn’t worry too much about slogging it.

          If someone is brand new and just fantasizes about being a writer, a 5 to 10 minute a day starter is a good introduction. It’s too easy NOT to write, even for professionals. 🙂

          You’re right about flexibility, too. I generally get something done in the mornings – and I love having put in six hours or more before 9:00 a.m. (gives me the luxury of feeling even if I don’t do anything else for the entire rest of the day, I’ve still put in those six hours), bit I don’t really mind if I get the work done in the morning, in the afternoon or through the night. Some days things don’t get done, and I really feel that.

          So I totally agree with you and it’s something all writers should remember – to take time off, to be flexible, to bring the fun back into the equation. The writing has to be as much fun for the writer as it is for their readers. If a writer doesn’t get anything out of their stories, there’s no passion. Then the reader doesn’t get anything out of their stories either.

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