In the LinkedIn group, TWO BITS / Writing advice to writers from writers, there’s a discussion that started with “Do you all have a writing routine?”
I’ve been startled because more than a few of the participants seem write when the muse strikes.
I’ve had a regular writing routine for years, and so does every single successful writer I know. Sure it’s changed over time. When I was raising kids I didn’t have the luxury to decide when to write, I wrote when I could. When I’ve had full-time jobs I’ve had to squeeze my writing into my day. But in every case I’ve had a routine. Here’s why I think it works and is probably a must:
- My body knows that we’re going to sit down at the computer right after meditation - usually about 6 a.m. Before I meditated I was at the computer ever earlier.
- My mind knows that we’re going to sit down at a predictable time day in and day out. That habit somehow makes it easier for me to actually get the words down.
- My writing routine supports my writing discipline. We not only practice writing, but writing is a practice. At least it is if you want to get paid regularly for it. You might find The Discipline Of Writing Is More Important Than Motivation helpful.
- Through my writing routine I’ve learned to trust my writing process. I know some days will be harder than others. I know that those days I have a migraine headache I won’t write at all. I know if I take a trip my routine will be interrupted. But because I can actually count on myself to write regularly I know that those interruptions are just that, a temporary change. They don’t throw me clear off track. All I have to do is get back into my routine the next day or when I get back, etc.
Part of the conversation at LinkedIn is about establishing a routine. We’ll talk about that tomorrow.
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