I’ve been thinking a lot lately about having a writing routine. From scheduling a certain point in the day to write, to writing for at least 20 minutes everyday, to those rituals some writer’s have whether writing in a pair of killer heels or slippers, in the kitchen or in bed, or next to a pot of coffee.
I’ve yet to develop what you call a true writing routine. I write when I can, for as long as I can, as often as I can. A few days may go between each writing period though, but my stories are always developing on their own in my head, so they’re never truly shelved away until the next creative deluge of words. I am fairly self-disciplined which I believe is the principle point about developing a writing routine, but I know I could always be more self-disciplined.
Also, my writing is not constant, one day I may only write 100 words, the next 3000 words may fly onto the page. And I certainly don’t have any ‘rituals’, some writers do. The only thing that I really need when I’m writing is quiet. Luckily, I’m not a mum yet so I don’t have to jiggle my writing around having a house full of screaming kids – at least not for the time being. And further luckily, I do have the pleasure of being at home alone on a regular-ish occasion.
In an ideal world, where I can live off the earnings of my writings (not such a pipe dream?, I can live off less than £1 million pounds a year), I think that my writing routine would consist of writing creatively in the morning, and tying up loose ends in the afternoon – promotions, social networking, updating my blog, checking the twitter feeds…housework and all that comes with that. I think that would be my routine. Apparently, the brain works more creatively in the morning, and I do agree with that, or at least it works for me. So with that the above ‘routine’ should work for me fine.
However, working around work – and all the travel that I have to do with it (I’m currently at the mercy of public transport, which is, how can I put it…?, somewhat less than reliable), – sticking to a regular routine is difficult.
So do others swear by a ‘routine’, or is their writing as and when possible too?
Do routines emerge for some from day one, or are they developed unknowingly over time?