Let’s get this out of the way: building your writing routine is hard. Seriously, I think it’s almost like a rite of passage figuring out our own routine. You may have this awesome story idea that you wish wrote itself because you can’t seem to find the time to sit down and write it. There just never are enough hours in the day to get a good writing session down. Also your idea of a writing session might be this magical time that is never ending, where there are no interruptions and endless snacks and no room for restroom breaks.
Now, I’m not going to tell you that this idea of a writing session doesn’t exist–it can–I mean if you want to be uncomfortable at how much you NEED to use the toilet. Ew.
However, it can exist only if you make it happen with necessary breaks. When I started writing–for serious–lol I had that idea, well sort of. I had made up my mind that I needed to write only in the evenings or only in the mornings usually around 9 until noon, or only during this time or that. I became easily frustrated when LIFE would happen and kept me from writing during these premeditated writing times. After multiple failed attempts of this back and forth between ‘only this’ schedule I implemented a new approach.
My approach was one I kept hearing over and over again: just write. It doesn’t matter what time of day it is as long as you sit down and write you’ll be making progress in your story. Because if you really think about it by only writing during certain times of the day you’re already limiting your craft while ignoring all the other times that you could have just started.
It will take practice to get to the point where there is not a day that goes by when you don’t think about setting time aside to write. But it is possible.
Here are a few of the things that I’ve tried that have worked.
- Put it on your calendar(s) as a repeating event for a time when you know you’re most likely to do it. I have mine set for 7 pm, although I write throughout the day, if for any reason I haven’t done it during the day. The event will pop up at 7 PM and remind me to get to it.
- Set an achievable word count. The lower your word count the likelihood that you’ll achieve it and be motivated to keep going.
- Visit writing blogs/podcasts/craft books/anything craft related to not only update yourself on what’s happening in literature but also to improve your craft
- Don’t stack word counts upon word counts. Meaning, if you don’t meet your word count don’t add that to the following days word count. That is stress you don’t need. Treat everyday as a new writing day.
- Take breaks. They are as necessary as the words on the page.
- Be persistent. Your writing needs to be important to you before it becomes important to anyone else.