As writers we train ourselves to write every day. Getting words on the page is the most important thing and until we've established a routine everything else should be left alone. It took me a long time to realise that any kind of writing would do, as long as I was writing something.
By pinching a few hours here and there throughout the day I'd get a little writing done but with no routine I found it difficult to get started every day and often found 'the block' came for a visit. I wanted to think of my writing as a real thing so I cleared out our spare room upstairs, got a desk in there and bought a new iMac. I now had an office.
I fell into a new routine; drop kids off at school in the morning, go for a run, shower, coffee and sit in front of the Mac. After a few weeks of this routine words just seemed to flow from me as soon as I loaded Scrivener. It was as if the new routine was a trigger for the words and it all came very easily. Writing every day made me feel great and I really thought I was making progress but there was a looming cloud in the distance. The school holidays.
In the holidays I have almost no time for writing and because I have no set routine I find it very hard to write anything even if I get the chance. The summer holidays are the worst - six whole weeks of no routine and almost no writing. I hate it.
These holidays have been slightly different because the hubby has to work in the evenings as well as in the day. This means that I have time for writing in the evening, after the kids have gone to bed. It's not exactly the same because I have to work downstairs but I'm writing and that's the main thing.
When I first started writing I didn't think that routine would play such an important role but as time has gone on I've realised that I need it. Tricking my brain into allowing a flow of words at particular times in the day has been great and 'the block' hasn't visited for a while either. I'm the type of person that thrives on routines so it's not surprising that writing routines work well, I just need to remember it for the future.
I am looking forward to getting back to my regular routine when the kids are back at school. Having that quiet time, shut away in my office with my fingers tapping at the keyboard, sounds like heaven at the moment. But, for now, this one will do - at least I'm still writing.
Do you have a routine to set you up for the day?