Friday, September 9, 2011

Routine and the Writer: A Good Match

I've been thinking about the idea of routine as an aid to writing this week, thanks to fellow writer and blogger Hektor Karl's blog post this week, Is Writing Less More Difficult?

Hektor recently switched his schedule from daily posting to posting only 2-3 times a week, and he noticed that the change in his routine made it harder for him to commit to writing, even though he wrote less than before. I know what he means. There is something about having a daily routine that really helps a writer to be productive.

Being committed to something daily (whatever it is) has a way of creating forward momentum. Doing that thing every day means doing it today. And isn't that the greatest battle we face? Consistency. Man, consistency is a hard trait to master. It is so easy to say, "I'll do that tomorrow. It's no big deal." Until you keep putting it off to some tomorrow that never seems to become a today for you.

Procrastination is one of my enemies. And it's a clever one. There is always a good reason to put something (like my writing) off until tomorrow. I'm tired. Or I'm busy. Or I'm not sure what to do. I've got writer's block. Or I really need to make that call. I'm hungry. Thirsty. I need to exercise. I need to get the laundry done. I need to get to the store, run that errand, finish that unfinished task. That crooked picture has to be straightened. Right now. It's too late to write. Too early. Too near lunchtime. Too...

You know what I mean. The reasons are innumerable. But they're there. Some are silly, but others are quite rational. Yet they are all still excuses to keep us from writing, or whatever other habit we're trying to develop.

This is where a set routine really comes in handy. Especially if it's daily. Especially if it's set in stone. Especially if it's set at a specific time and specific location. If we know we need to show every day at the same time and same place, we tend to do it. Perhaps that's why writers guides always suggest setting up a time of day and a place that's all your own to do your writing. It's a way of establishing that unbreakable routine you need to be consistent.

I have routines for other areas of my life, like exercise. But my routine for writing is...well... Okay, I don't have a routine. I fit it in when I can, which means I don't do it as often as I might if I just started an official routine. So, I'm giving this idea some thought and trying to come up with a routine that will work for me. I think it will help.

How about you? What are your writing routines? What works best for you? Do you struggle with consistency, like I do, or have you found a way to master that trait? As always, I'd love to know what you have to share. Thanks for stopping by!

Copyright (c) 2011 by Michele Chiappetta. All rights reserved.


  1. I currently try to keep a daily schedule of writing - both posting on my blog, and writing outside of that. I've just started using to do some brain dump kind of writing every day, and I love it, because it emails me a reminder, which somehow makes it seem more like an obligation I have to fulfill. It's tough, and it will soon get tougher for me, as I'm about to start working again. I agree with you, though, a routine is a must for me. Great post!

  2. Thanks for stopping by and reading! I've heard others mention before, but I haven't checked it out yet. But I think I will. An email reminder would be good.

  3. Well hello there fellow Fantasy writer and campaigner. I live in the midwest too. It's a pleasure to meet you. I'm following you.

  4. Hi from a fellow campaigner. You are so right about routine being good for a writer. I'm just having trouble following the routine. :)

  5. Hi, Laila and Kim. Nice to meet you too. I'll stop by your blogs after I finish this comment. Kim, I know what you mean. Developing the routine is hard, and then it's even harder to maintain it sometimes. I guess we all struggle with that.


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