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Friday, July 8, 2016

How Not to Keep a Writing Routine

Just for fun I googled about writing routines. And do you know that there are 126,000,000 results about the subject?

Having a routine, if you go by the amount of results, is important. The repetition of a routine helps you maintain your commitment to writing your story. Your typical  novel consists of at least 90,000 words or more. And when looking at it that way, it might seem impossible and overwhelming. But if you break it down, with a writing routine of 250 words a day, you can achieve your goal. That is if you can keep it.

I’ve started and fallen off writing routines more times than I can count. I’ve done writing 500 words a day to keeping it all in my head until I can write it later. And more often than not, I’d forget most of my inspiring ideas before I could get to a notebook or my laptop.

But that’s nothing to be discouraged about. Because as I see it, I’m stumbling around until I find the routine that’s right for me. Like Thomas Edison said, “I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

I admit, there are things that we as writers do in excess, myself included, that disrupts our routine. Thus prolonging our goals in writing our novel. And here are several ways I’ve been guilty of in not keeping my writing routine:

  1. Binge watching Criminal Minds, Leverage, anime and Asian dramas
  2. Binge reading manga and or re-reading some of my favorites
  3. Conducting “research” online
  4. Social media...enough said

What is your writing routine? What have we done to trip it up?


Sheena-kay Graham said...

Yup the internet. Also books, my imagination, staring into space...I am a procrastinator.

Tyrean Martinson said...

The internet . . . and sometimes phone calls, and lately a volunteer job that kind of took over my brain for about a week. And, sometimes I just feel a need to fall into a book and not come up for air for a few hours - and oh, there went the writing time.

Diana Wilder said...

Ah, the internet and social media...

Also, sitting on a sofa with a laptop. Too comfortable...

And would you believe it? The biggest distraction to buckling down and FINISHING a WIP is the siren calls from other WIPS that are barely out of concept state and have just so very much delicious details that you can pull out of your imagination and put down. I just rediscovered one that I blocked out twelve (count 'em!) years ago. It's in WordPerfect and I have MSWord now, but the bits and pieces are really good. ...I think.

I'll fiddle with them when my properly finished WIP is off to beta-readers.

Liz A. said...

My writing routine has gone through several modifications over the years. At the moment, it's two pages a day. That is, I open a document (with specific formatting), and I write until I've filled two pages. It works out to be about 1200 words.

All sorts of things can prevent me from getting to the two pages. Life, I guess.

Darla M Sands said...

Great topic! And I enjoyed the comments, too. 1200 words a day is awesome. The only time I really buckle down is when I endeavor to win National Novel Writing Month in November or April's similar Camp NaNo. During those times I manage 1667 words a day to reach the 40000 word goal. It's run and rewarding though I never seem to polish the end result. ~sigh~ My biggest time waster of late is the Hearts card game on my Kindle Fire.

Lidy Wilks said...

@sheena I'm the same too. It's like once I start, I can't stop

@tyrean I know. They don't say that books are a portal for a reason. And oh, the internet. What more can i say about the internet? At least volunteering is a good way to spend your time.

@diana oh yes, the internet and social media can be a bane to our existence. Sometimes, a necessary one. But yeah, hearing the call of other WIPs is another distraction you wouldn't think were a distraction. It's just so hard to turn off all those voices.

@liz wow, 1200 words a day is fabulous.

@darla thanks. NaNoWriMo is pretty much the only time I buckle down too. My time waster card game is solitaire on my phone.

S.K. Anthony said...

LOL — This is great! And too true!!!!

I shoot myself in the foot. With all the stuff I have going on, the minute I have a free night, all I want to do is binge watch TV while catching up with social media. Ugh. But yes, I'm trying to be more conscious and not allowing TV time until I've reached a certain word count per week.

S.K. Anthony: Barnes and Noble Changing the Self-Publishing Game