Routines and Ruts
Do you have a writing routine? Or are you stuck in a writing rut?
We all have a structure to our day. Even if you’re not one who prefers structure, some degree inevitably creeps in. But is it the right amount for your writing habits?
In the last year I’ve had the opportunity to take stock in how my life is organized. And, from time to time, to make changes in my daily routine. So I’ve tinkered. I’ve tinkered with my daily and weekly schedule to allow myself different times and opportunities to write.
And I’ve discovered some things about how I write.
I am not creative first thing in the morning. Even if I’m just trying to get into the habit of morning pages, the pump just isn’t primed that early in the day.
I don’t do myself any favors by making a writing appointment with myself. If I reserve a specific time for myself to write, it’s too easy for me to eliminate my writing time as my plan for the day gets revised.
But if I don’t set aside some time for me to write, I will get other things done instead.
So what I’ve started doing is carrying around a small steno pad with the things I need to get done every day—and I make sure that “Write for 1 hour” is on that list. I may write on my lunch hour. I may squeeze it in right before bedtime. And of course there are some days when I simply can’t check that item off my list.
A routine is good. But a routine shouldn’t be so important that it becomes stifling. Then it’s a rut. Routine brings order to a day. A rut controls it.
How long has it been since you’ve examined your writing routine?