Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Do you have a writing routine?


I don’t. At all. But as Nicole reminded me last week in the comments here, some writing guides recommend that you write at the same place at the same time every day. 

Okaaaaay. 

This falls into the Totally Impossible category of my life – the same place where I keep my time machine, my Nobel Prize for General Awesomeness, and my gym membership. I mean, I do not do routine. Do Not.

I do 24/7 shift work instead.

Source
Sometimes my alarm goes off at 5 am and I crawl out of bed and get to work without really remembering the drive there. Sometimes at 5 am I’m sitting at work watching the clock and waiting for the bleary-eyed morning shift to straggle in looking like something from Dawn of the Dead. And, just rarely, sometimes at 5am I’m in bed asleep like a normal person.

I can’t write at the same time every day. I can’t even eat breakfast at the same time everyday. I write when I can, where I can. I’d love to say that it’s the method that works best for me, but I’ve got nothing to compare it with.

If you have a writing routine or have tried one, I’d love to know how it works for you. 

20 comments:

  1. I used to write at night, but I didn't like it hanging over me all day. So I switched to first thing in the morning, and it's definitely helped if just in that I get to feel good about it the rest of the day.

    But "whatever works for you" trumps that, as does "whenever you can." All that matters is at the end of the day you have more words than you started with. (Unless, of course, you're editing.)

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    1. I don't think I've seen first thing in the morning for years...and that includes the mornings I start at 6 am. I don't wake up until at least ten, whether I'm at work or not.

      But "whatever works" -- hell yes!

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  2. I keep a notebook with me to write when I can i.e. waiting at practices, waiting for my daughter to get out of class, etc. It has to fit into the crevices of life right now.
    Catherine Denton

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    1. Keeping a notebook on hand is the best piece of advice I was ever given! You never know when an idea will hit.

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  3. I could never write at the same time everyday, nor in the same place. It would zap my creativity. I do write every day though, squeezing it in wherever I can.

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    1. I agree it's important to try and write every day. But no way could I manage the same time! And, even if I could, I'm not sure I'd want to for the same reasons as you!

      Delete
  4. No routine, not really. I just do something every day whenever I can. I go through phases of writing at night. Sometimes darkness + iPod=writing magic.

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    1. Night is the best for me as well, and an iPod is a must.

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  5. A couple of weeks later and I still feel the same! Writing at the same time everyday is not gonna happen. This advice usually comes from writers who don't have regular full time jobs and human responsibilities. Pay me a years salary to write and sure, I'll write the same time evey day!

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    1. Exactly! Although, to be honest, even if I was being paid a salary I'd find it difficult to stick to a routine. I just don't like them. I used to work a Monday-Friday 9-5 job and I HATED it.

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  6. I sometimes do have a routine and sometimes don't. I do keep a notebook with me so that I can always jot down poems or story ideas or tips about a larger WIP when I'm away from the computer. Other than that, I do spend sometime at the computer everyday writing on one work or another, or submitting, but it isn't necessarily the same time each day -- although, more and more, it seems to be right after lunch after I've cleared away morning tasks. Whenever I have a deadline, though, it's off and on writing all through the day.

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    1. I'm the same with a deadline -- I'll work on that all day every day until it's done. That's not a routine for me though, it's more of a panic. :)

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  7. I don't have a routine either but I'm trying to do a very rough schedule of what I need to do every day. No times just rough approximations of how long it should take and in what order I need to do things. For example, check email, eat breakfast, homework for an hour, read blogs for about thirty minutes, write for about an hour. If something comes up, I'll do it, then go back to what I needed to be doing. Still experimenting with this, but good for those of us who can't keep schedules.

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    1. This sounds like a fantastic idea.
      I'll be trying this myself.

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  8. My days are all different and I write when I can. I put aside a lot of writing time, but it's not necessarily the same every day, much less the same place. I write at work on my lunch break and before I clock in and after I clock out. I go to the coffee shop to write when I can because I get more done when I'm not distracted by husbands and kitties. I write at night, in the morning, around noon. Whatever. I get the idea the writing books are trying to get across - you need to make it a habit, but I don't think there's a precise formula you need to apply To Make The Words Happen.

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    1. I've never tried writing in a coffee shop...maybe I should! On the plus side, there would be muffins!

      The problem with routines is that life gets in the way.

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  9. I don't have a routine either. I just write when the moment strikes me. I am trying to be more deliberate with my time though i.e. writing when I have time at work.

    I don't think I worry about a routine if you're accomplishing the writing goals you have set for yourself.

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    1. This is a good point...now I need to learn to set goals! :)

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  10. I try to have a routine, but it never, ever goes to plan... if I don't plan, it actually goes more smoothy... Maybe I overthink it.

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    1. I certainly work better surrounded by chaos!

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