Back in October 2012 I wrote a post on the importance of developing a writing routine, in which I stated that, with work and travelling to and from work, I had little balance of time to do what writing I wanted. By balance, I mean having the same set number of days or hours in a day in which I can establish a ‘true’ writing routine. But now, I think I have come to realise that it’s ok if one day to the next I don’t follow the ‘full’ writing routine I want to put in place, as long as I do something. As long as a day (weekday) doesn’t pass where I don’t do anything.
This can be from concentrating one day just on developing my online presence and social networking to writing all day. I have come to trust in myself to make the right decision over what needs to be done – and what can be done in the time allowed for that day. I also try to stay calm and relaxed and take one day at a time. If on Day 1 I didn’t do any actual writing then I don’t let myself get stressed out and I always look forward to the next day.
I think, therefore, that I’ve developed two writing routines.
Whenever I’m working I:
- Do a little bit of writing
- Novel planning
- Social networking – on twitter, my blog, hootsuite, GoodReads or Authonomy…
- Or just reading what others have written – either on other blogs, on twitter feeds, or on authonomy
On ‘working’ days I just choose one – or two – from the above and do that something. Anything. To keep my writing mind active and my online presence felt. Whether it’s before work, during lunch or on the journey home (don’t worry I get the train).
When I’m at home and have the day to write I have a more established writing routine.
Am; I, briefly, social network. I update my blog. Answer any emails. Respond to any comments. I tie up any loose administrative ends.
Am-Pm; the main body of the day is taken up by writing; research, writing or editing depending at what stay of the process my book is at.
Pm; To finish the day, I return to social networking. But on a more detailed basis, building relationships with writers and readers online, following other blogs, catching up with what’s new, spending time reading, networking and building relationships on authonomy.com and goodreads.com.
[Done towards the end of the day, it won’t cut into that valuable writing time.]
Pm; To ‘wind’ down I read a good book.
Then comes the usual daily routine that everyone shares – the cooking and the cleaning….
In the past I have made the mistake of trying to tag these points above of a ‘regular’ writing routine to times in the day, and I think that’s where I was going wrong. As long as my routine is followed in the above order than I can worry less about what actual time it is and focus on the task at hand, and as long as the main body of the day is spent writing, I’m happy. Without having to keep a constant eye on the time, I can let myself relax a bit and concentrate on what I really love – writing.
[Saying that sometimes I look at the clock and wonder where on earth the time has gone. But that’s normal I’m sure…..]