How To Find Your Writing Routine

By on April 7, 2016
How To Find Your Writing Routine - Writer's Life.org

One of the most helpful things any writer can do for themselves, it is set up a good writing routine.

Writing is a tough job and one that requires discipline and dedication. It is so easy to procrastinate or to promise ourselves we’ll get round to writing ‘at some vague time in the future’ that it can often be pushed continually down our list of priorities until it drops off altogether.

This is a shame. Because if you feel you want to write then you should. You obviously have a desire, an itch to get something out of your brain and onto paper. The longer you put off writing, the more you are going to berate yourself for doing so. So for fulfilment, satisfaction, and self-belief it is important to follow your instincts and find some space in your schedule to write.

There is no hard and set rule for a good writing routine that works for each and every writer. Everyone is different, some people will find that writing first thing in the morning becomes the best way to start their day, others can’t bear the idea of having to get out of bed an hour earlier! That’s OK, it is all about trying and testing different routines and finding one that works for you. The only thing that all writers need to do, is, well, write.

So how do you set a good writing routine? Here are some great tips to help you find yours.

1 Write for at least an hour a day, every day.

Even the busiest of writers should be able to find time to sit down and write for this long. If you are writing a book or any work of fiction this is fine, if you are hoping to write articles and get other freelance work you probably need to dedicate more time to this (otherwise you will never get anything done!) If you don’t like being constrained by time, instead aim to write 500 words each and every day. It’s not a lot but 500 words each day adds up to nearly 15,000 words a month - you could be finished that novel in no time at all!

2 Don’t let yourself burn out

It’s good to stop when you are still geared up to write rather than running out of steam. If your writing time is up for the day but you feel you are really getting somewhere, simply jot down the ideas and plot points for next time. This means when you come back to your writing tomorrow you’ll have material to get you started and writing away immediately.

3. Make a Playlist

Find mood-specific tunes that work for you. Some music can build your confidence, gear you up to write, inspire your emotions and make you think. Music is designed to have an effect on us, and so it can be really useful to tap into certain emotions - ones that we are trying to convey in our stories.

4. Keep a notebook with you

Whatever your writing routine, keeping a notebook with you is a great idea. You never know when you are going to get inspired by something which you can use in your writing, or when you overhear or see something that you can use in your work. Keeping a notebook with you at all times means you can capture these ideas before you forget them, and it will become a valuable source for material when you do sit down to write.

5. Make some time for reading

Whether you do this first thing in the morning, or last thing at night, make sure that you include time for reading as part of your daily routine. There are so many fantastic books out there, ones that can give us inspiration for our own stories, that can spark ideas and that can influence our work. Make sure you read as much as you can, it's like studying for writers - and super enjoyable too!

With these writing tips, you can create a great writing routine. Make sure you stay disciplined, stick to it and soon you will look forward to your writing time each day.

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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