Monday, December 22, 2008

How To Find A Writing Routine

As often happens, this blog is born out of my writing situation... in this case my personal state of unrest and dissatisfaction with my consistency in a writing routine. And as the title indicates, I think this is more of an art than a science. Therefore, I will try to help you (and me) "find" a writing routine that works for us respectively.

We have all heard a million talks, seminars, and slogans on establishing a routine. Here are a few items that seem relevant to our position as writers, presumably all of whom hold down full-time jobs (and yes, that includes stay at home moms).

1) What is your current routine? - This may be the most important step. Everyone has parts of their life that are routine, affixed to specific times that occur every day, or at least on weekdays. Write down a list of the items in your current routine that are fixed in time so you have them available to you in the following steps.

2) What time of day do you write your best work? - This is trial and error. If you don't already know, take a few Saturday's and try different things. Get up early once, try the afternoon next, and then try evening and late night. See which of these times seems the most productive and the time when your creativity seems to flow with the most ease.

3) What time slot can you consistently use? - Here the pain begins. Those who don't really want to write will find an excuse for all times of the day. But in reality, if you want it badly enough, you can make time. The ideal situation is to pick a time where point #1 and point #2 converge so you can be most productive and follow a daily routine. In the practical world, you may have to settle for a time that you can squeeze into your schedule, regardless of how it suits your preferences.

Bottom line is routines are hard to establish. It feels less like creative fun and more like work. My question to you (and myself) is how important is it that you finish your novel? How badly do you want to be published? In twenty years, will you regret that you never spent those extra minutes writing and editing? Will you ask, "What if?"

My advice is simple. Don't forecast regret. Take action today.

Better to try and fail than never to try at all.

On the writing front, I finished another two scenes in my script. If I have a productive Christmas holiday season, I may even finish before years end.

Until next time, let's all keep on writing.
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