(To listen to the audio of this blog post, use the purple play button.)
· What’s Your Writing Routine? ·
Do you have a routine in your writing? Do you have a specific time and place when you’re at your creative best?
I’m going to talk about my routine and how it helps me be productive. Mostly it has to do with training my brain to prepare to write daily.
As a “morning person” I like to get up before the crack of dawn, often by 5 a.m., and get to the computer so I can start writing.
Prior to sitting down at the keyboard, my brain is already urging me on with ideas. The reason my brain is impatient is that I’ve trained it. I’ve asked specific questions about my writing, maybe about a character or setting, and it has answered.
By waking up each morning about the same time, the brain knows its assignment. It’s eager to get started.
Often I can’t get to the keyboard fast enough. That’s why index cards and pens are my closest friends. Whether it’s the middle of the night, or when I’m out doing yard work, I try to be prepared for fleeting ideas that can easily disappear into thin air.
Writing first thing in the morning allows me to benefit from my relaxed state. If I’ve planted a question or topic in my brain prior to going to bed, then it’s often answered by morning.
I don’t know if I’m using my dreams or just using the calm to think more clearly. I know that being relaxed and having a designated time and place to write is vital to my productivity.
I start writing in the morning before I’ve had a bite to eat. Then I use food as an incentive. I promise myself I’ll get some toast once I get into the story. Cereal with fruit is another reward.
Usually, once I’m on fire, it’s difficult for me to stop. Sometimes I actually choose breaks when I’m on a roll, but other times, if I’m stumped, I clear my head with some fresh air.
Maybe you’re a nighthawk writer. Do your ideas simmer throughout the day and explode at night? Or, maybe it has to do with uninterrupted time. Time and place for writing allows you to give time and place to your stories. In college, late at night was my uninterrupted time. That was my opportunity to become my characters.
Whether you write in the morning, evening, or in-between, keep writing! Once I’m away from it for a few days it takes longer to get back in the groove. Writing is a habit I don’t want to forget!
It’s interesting for me to hear how some people can write anywhere, anytime. It’s like they’re transcribing!
Then there are others who must have the stars and the moon lined up perfectly before their first word is written.
For some people who are having trouble getting started, it might be that they don’t know where to start.
My advice is to start anywhere. Some people keep a journal of their thoughts, ideas, and activities. If so, the journal can be used as a reference for your creative writing. Others find websites that offer questions or prompts as self-starters for composing.
Promise yourself you’ll start. Commit to two minutes. See what happens.
Whether you write fiction or non-fiction, it’s important to feel an urgency to tell your story. This can occur if you’re sharing writing with a friend or group, or trying to beat a deadline in a competition.
Another possibility for why people can’t seem to write, is the fear factor. Does that sound like you?
If you were to make a real choice, a commitment, then your world would change, and change can be scary.
But, I’ll save fear, doubt, and self-esteem for another blog.
Until next time, happy writing and reading!
You hit the nail on the head when you said, the longer you’re away from it the harder it is to get back to it.
Everyday life can be a challenge.
Jim Potter says
Beverly, thanks for your comment. For me, it helps to become one of the fictional characters. Once I’ve done that, then my thoughts are a driving force for creating and writing. Jim
Now that’s a profound statement, Jim. You can’t finish something until you start. Does that mean my dishes aren’t getting done until I start them? Linda
Jim Potter says
Linda, exactly! You got it! Since you write poetry, how about a poem about dirty dishes? But keep it clean! Jim
Jim, I’ll work on that. Maybe a short story from the dishes point of view. Linda
Jim Potter says
Linda, I like this! You can publish it right here if you don’t have an agent. Free! Jim