Routine is a writer’s ally

Karalee’s Post #115

Our 5Writer’s retreat was a much wanted and well deserved coming together for our group, a push to jump start our writing and marketing again. Our passion is definitely there and we set deadlines again for critiquing.

We agree, deadlines will keep us going.

Sometimes I wonder if we need this camaraderie to keep our writing on task. Are we passionate writers? or hobbyists and coffee lovers with a computer at hand? Writers, well, just write, right??


Last week’s retreat once again brought us together and showed me that we all have the fire of fiction within us. We all want to get our stories out and reach The End with a sense of great self-satisfaction. We want to share our stories and keep writing more.

To me, that’s the essence of being a writer.

The fact that it’s difficult to sit and get the job done is simply that, a fact of life. It is hard for me to put the time in daily, difficult to say no to other important things in my life. But truth told, if I want to get to The End, I have to sit and write. Often. With a sense of importance.

So, routine has to come into play. Once again WRITING is on my “must do” To Do list. My daughter is getting married in July and I’ve recently started a new business, so I will be realistic and put 2hrs/day as my set amount of time. Note to myself: Don’t veer from it. The dishes/cooking/looking after the family and dogs/part-time work, etc. all have their spots too. BUT don’t bypass the act of writing!

Stick to your routine.

Out of curiosity I looked up the word routine. The Miriam Webster dictionary defines routine as:

: a regular way of doing things in a particular order; a boring state or situation in which things are always done the same way; a series of things (such as movements or jokes) that are repeated as part of a performance

Well, these definitions have me wondering why I would say in my title above that ‘Routine is a writer’s ally’. None of the above definitions really fit. For instance:

  1. a regular way of doing things in a particular order. For me, I don’t write in any particular order. Often I write the first chapter and jump to an intermediate chapter to capture my thoughts and actions that I feel are important. Also, I usually write the last chapter early on to have a place I head towards. That said, the ending is often not in the place I first had in mind. I am flexible and take heed
  2. a boring state or situation in which things are always done the same way. Maybe the fact that I rarely do my writing in the same way day-to-day is a good reason that it is never boring. For me the process is never boring. Challenging, absolutely. The great thing is that I can always “have something happen” in my story to entertain myself at any moment. That’s the magic of fiction!!
  3. a series of things (such as movements or jokes) that are repeated as part of a performance. Well, writing isn’t a repetition of the same thing over and over regarding what is happening in a story. A theme can be repeated by having different character’s life story played out in the same theme, but the actual events happening will be very different. Although writing often feels like a juggling act (who is where when, and to do what), the balls in the air are never the same and they are all dancing to their own arc. But, if my book ever becomes a movie, now that would be a great performance!

Since for me writing isn’t a routine that fits the MW’s definition, then why do I think that routine is my ally in writing?

It comes down to TIME. Time dedicated to the act of writing. Time slotted in my day on a regular basis. Maybe that’s what is defined as being boring and regular.

Regarding the actual writing itself? Thank goodness that is never routine!


Writing Goals: 2 hrs/day. Submit 30 pages/month to my group. We chose the 5th of every month. Fitting, right?? 🙂

Keep in mind: 

  • 2 hrs/day, one word at a time will soon become a scene, then a chapter, and eventually a completed book. Keep sticking to the Slight Edge philosophy.
  • daily meditation and exercise keeps me centered and healthy.
  • our group is amazing, their support a great motivator!
  • a positive attitude leads to more happiness, and more writing!

Perspective Photos:

















Happy writing!

4 thoughts on “Routine is a writer’s ally

  1. Words to the wise, Karalee. Thanks! BTW, if those are your mugs in the photo, we share a Denby pottery pattern. More evidence that great minds think alike?

  2. May you remain ever committed to your routine Karalee. I’m reminded of Eckhart Tolle describing his process of writing The Power of Now: he sat at his computer for four hours every morning waiting for the words to come. Sometimes a few came, sometimes many came, but he never varied from his routine and in the end he had a bestseller. May your 2 hours per day bring you the same.

    • Routine in writing is so important. With my daughter’s wedding next month, I may slip a bit, but not feel guilty as enjoying these moments are very important too!

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