The Muse is super fun to hang out with, but since she has many places to be…
For years, I would only write at night, after school. Then, I would only write in the early morning, before work.
After my baby finally started to sleep through the night, at 15 months (if you are curious, that’s sums up to 450 nights of 3-4 hours of sleep; yes, I know I was lucky.), I needed a new, well, everything. Including a writing routine.
The snowstorm of writing routines
As I am writing, well within March, dear Mother Nature unleashed yet another snowstorm. The snowflakes are big and fluffy. From my wanna-be office window, I cannot see the small frozen lake anymore; I can barely see the houses on the street parallel to us.
Lost within the snowstorm of tips, hacks, methods and what’s more, the keys for establishing a good writing routine.
I stumbled upon so many sh**** ideas, oh dear Calliope and sisters! I even found one fellow giver of tips&tricks with a what-number steps for a magic writing routine.
Heck yeah, I listened to what that person had to say, but, yeah no, I couldn’t go through with the meditation and « say hi to the sun » part.
Writing routine : the gathering
I ended gathering the most relevant, for me anyway, tips & tricks on how to establish a good writing routine.
That means I came up with a mix of Common Sense, guilt-free tips and effective tricks to master the writing routine.
- Forget the Muse
Feeling inspired is great, but it is NOT going to help you write, yet finish, a novel.
Sit your butt down, put glue on the chair if you have to, and write (that’s from an francophone author who wrote more then a 100 kids novels; proven tip if there was ever one).
- Set realistic writing goals.
Of course, you can write a book in 10 days, 30 days, 3 months… although the quality of the end result may vary.
Better be realistic when it comes to writing goals and set for ourselves easily attainable writing goals.
500 words a day, 5 days&nights a week is how I started. Once the routine was established, I soon revised increase the word count goal, but not up to a point where I would feel guilty to not have been able to reach the said goal one day.
100 words a day, 5 days a week could also be an excellent start to master the writing routine.
- Reward yourself at the beginning of your new writing routine.
Many trustworthy authors and bloggers give that tip. It is a fun and effective way to make any new routine work.
After a while (I read it takes 17 to 21 days to form a new habit, but this is NOT a writing routine deadline of some sort) the new writing routine should start to feel like a part of yourself.
- A writing routine should always go with your flow.
Translation: Writer, know thyself.
If you early riser, work with that. If you can’t muster the energy to write at night, don’t. The important thing is, while not being a total dictator toward yourself, to stick to your writing goal at the beginning, whether you’re feeling like writing or not.
- Stick to your goals… and to happy writer face
Writing should be enjoyable, it should be fun. Writing should make you happy.
It is a lot of hard work, of course, but still, if you cannot enjoy it, why bother?
The ones who helped me master the writing routine
From a fun place I found thought the best place for writers, Pinterest: https://www.well-storied.com/blog/11-tips-for-creating-writing-routine
Super useful and to the point tips. No magic nor miracles there, just good old Common Sense: http://www.savannahgilbo.com/10-tips-creating-writing-routine/h
This one helped me de-stress about the whole writing routine game, which at first seemed like a bigger deal then having to plan a wedding (at this point, I swear, I am getting married in my pj’s and we’ll have bbq chicken with the fridging champagne): https://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/there-are-no-rules/4-writing-routine-myths-that-kill-creativity
I hope those tested writing routine tips will help you out. They certainly helped me!