on writing routines

“What’s your writing routine?”

It’s a question authors get asked all the time and I think there are quite a few of us who don’t really have one. For me working full time (for now – more news on that soon!) makes it hard to have a specific routine. I often have to fit my writing in when and where I can. Also, much as I love routine, I do believe it’s a good idea not to have one that is so rigid it can’t be changed, simply because sometimes circumstances dictate that it needs to be changed.

I am however a great believer in making the time you set aside for writing different from the rest of the day especially if you need to create a boundary between your day job and your writing life (when both might include sitting at the same desk in these work from home times!).

Here are a few things that help me get the words down in my relatively limited writing time.

1. Create a boundary between writing and the rest of your day. For me this can be a short meditation or lighting a scented candle before I begin.

2. Turn off distractions. Turn off notifications. Put your phone in another room. Disconnect your laptop from wifi. If you live alone or nobody else needs the internet, turn the router off! You can always look up that oh-so-important research later – just leave a gap in your manuscript!

3. Make your favourite drink to keep you company. For me this is tea but for you it could be your favourite coffee, a hot chocolate or a sparkling elderflower cordial. Avoid wine. I know Hemingway wrote drunk but I don’t advise it 😉

4. Use a word counting app or website. I use pacemaker.press. I can set different word count goals (for example my current WIP is 700 words a day to get a first draft by early March) and then have fun trying to beat that goal. There is nothing more satisfying than turning the wifi back on at the end of a writing session and updating my word count.

What routines do you use to be as productive as possible in your writing?

Posted in Blog.