How to create a writing routine that works (for you).
Writing is oddly not as much about writing as you might think. Writing, for the most part, is a habit and you have to start treating it as one by incorporating it into your life. A writing routine or a habit will require that you build it as a muscle. Writing is largely about staying productive and having a routine. This is not what most people think of when they think of writers. And most of us are indeed slaves to our writer’s blocks but the ideas only come into play when you start.
Creating a productive writing routine can help you achieve your goals not just ideate them. The best writers spend a considerable number of hours every day writing and they don’t wait for the ideas to come.
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Set your goals
Creating your writing routine is difficult but you must try it out for yourself. Creating your writing routine will require finding that sweet spot when you are prone to getting the most ideas and when you can spare the time to sit and write.
Your writing goals determine your writing routine mostly. Whether it is outlining a novel you have to write or it is a certain dialogue glitch you have to fix in a book you have already completed. A consistent writing routine will allow you to get through anything with the kind of clarity that is unheard of among rookie writers. The most important thing about knowing your goals is breaking them down into objectives that are achievable given the time frame that you have. Do you have a packed schedule that leaves you only 2-3 hours in a day to sit and write your novel? Then 2-3 hours it is. The focus is not on how long you spend but how much you can get done in the time available.
Take an inventory of what you do throughout the day and given the lockdown, most of us are up to nothing in particular. But some have trouble finding the line between work and leisure. Give that your job is taking up most of your time, re-evaluate your objectives. Maybe you can’t do all of it but that should not stop you from sitting down every day in front of your laptop and conquering a certain word limit. This means even if there’s nothing else create voice notes in your writing app whenever you have an idea and create outlines that you can then work on the projects thoroughly.
There are certain things you can do which are will save time so that when you get to writing there will be more time. If that means cleaning your writing desk or prepping a playlist, it is a good idea. You can go ahead and keep some snacks handy as well so that you don’t have to break the momentum when writing and go rummaging in the kitchen.
In essence, the writing routine is made up of all the things you do and need to get writing. The part where you write is the most important but you have to take care of everything that may distract you beforehand.
As for me, the productivity level is higher in the morning and that means having a writing routine depends largely on having a routine. Structure your days in a way that you have the time slot you need free for you to write. I could suggest the Pomodoro technique for the hundredth time on this blog but the thing about writing is that you can write all you want once you start; the real question is how to start?
What do you do when you have done it all but you are sitting in front of your laptop 30 mins in and there are no words on that screen.
Here’s what you can do to start writing, start editing something you have already written. This is the equivalent of an ice breaker in writing. You can get yourself out of your head by just going through something you’ve already written and improved it.
Go with it
Routine is despised by people because they think it’s the same as their parents putting them to bed by 9 pm or the morning classes in college that no one ever woke up for with a smile on their face. It’s not about deadlines and rules as much as it is about creating a system that works best for you. If you want to write and it’s something you want to do more of than a writing routine is the best way to make more time for that. Create a writing routine that works for you instead of policing yourself in a field that depends a lot on creativity.
What does your writing routine consists of? What tips and tricks do you use that help you get more writing done?
Share your thoughts in the comments.