Writer friends – do you have a writing routine?
I struggle with routines as my life is a touch chaotic at this moment in time. Working full time, raising a very willful and somewhat maniacal toddler, forging a self-published author career and surviving through a global pandemic do not make for an easy environment to form new routines.
So instead of creating a strict, or even flexible, writing routine, I’ve taken to creating writing rituals instead. Ways to trick my brain into switching from mum, or wife, or employee mode, into writer mode.
My writing rituals
Here’s a little list of steps I take to prepare for a writing session.
- Make a cup of tea (or coffee, or another beverage of your choice).
- Fill a small bowl with snacks (nuts, pretzels, chocolate, whatever you fancy) and either eat throughout my session or check emails and do prep until the bowl is empty, and then the writing MUST start.
- Light a scented candle (the scent doesn’t matter, but if you have one that reminds you of your current WIP, then all the better).
- Play music that creates a mood without being distracting (for me it’s folklore and evermore by Taylor Swift, every time)
- Mute my phone (set your In Case of Emergency contacts and make sure they can still reach you when in mute mode)
- Choose a word count or time goal and try to focus until I’ve reached it
- Allow breaks, allow my mind to wander, allow a drink and snack refill if required
- Be kind to myself if writing isn’t going well today, and be proud of myself if I hit my goal
That’s it. I don’t have a set time that I write, some days I’m a morning person, others (most others) I’m decidedly not. Some days I want to hit 1k words, other days 500 will absolutely do. Some days I can’t face writing at all, so I watch TV with my husband or read a short story and don’t beat myself up for needing a break after a long, stressful day.
What little writing rituals do you observe? Do you have a strict writing routine or more of a set of rituals to get you in the writing mood, like me?
Are you taking part in Camp Nano this April? I’m trying, as I always find NaNoWriMo gives me a motivation boost and I come out with more words than I usually would, but I’m being kind to myself and not making myself write every single day.
Good luck with your current WIP! Tell me about it in the comments.
Oh yeah, for me, it’s important to set a lower time or word-count goal, because that actually allows me to get started, then all that’s left after that is to just ride on my momentum. Thanks for this, Lyndsey!
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Absolutely, same! When you hit that goal and are on a roll it’s the best feeling 😄 but even if you stop at that point, it’s better than no words on the page!
Anything is better than nothing, as they always say.
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My routine isn’t very strict, but the cup of tea is nonnegotiable. 😉
I love the idea of lighting a scented candle! I’ll have to start doing that.