Routine. Is it a help or hindrance to writing?

Karalee’s Post #125

To Do BinderRoutine.

It’s important. It allows me to get stuff done during the day. Important tasks, like going to work, writing, having a clean house and clothes, cooking and eating, yard work, sleeping, being social with friends, being a mother and wife in my family.

In its own way each item is important.

Regarding my”routine” writing time, does having a set time stifle my creativity? If I “have” to write between noon and three, can I simply sit down and get to it? Or does worrying that it takes time to get going, and that once I do, I have to stop at a certain time reduce my productivity to nil, like trying to squeeze juice from a dehydrated lemon?

According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, the definition of routine is:

Noun 

: 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

Adjective

: done very often

: done or happening as a normal part of a job, situation, or process

: easily done according to a set way or method

So apparently, routine is regular, boring and repetitive.

Does it really have to be? I beg to differ.

ClocksWhen I set a certain time to write, sure the time on the clock is regular, boring and repetitive, but what I do during that time allotment can be as exhilarating as I want to make it. My characters can be caught up in a hurricane, go down on a sinking ship, have affairs or a sex change, lie and cheat and play the innocent, get fired or murdered, or race in a police car or a hot air balloon for all that matter. My creative juices can take over, making my fingers fly on the keyboard to keep up with my imagination.

My perspective is what makes the difference. Routine can jump start my creativity. Imagine having a full three hours allotted to the pure joy of writing without the interference of “the rest of the world.” My subconscious is the key. It can be constantly working in the background so when it’s time to write, I write.

It’s all a matter of perspective. Make routine your friend!

My nemesis is actually writing down my To Do list every day and make it part of my routine.

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5/5/5 challenge this week:

Short story word count:   Story 1 –  1000 words total so far. I’m behind and need to step it up. See my nemesis above!

Pies eaten: Hey, it was Thanksgiving last weekend and I was very thankful for the multiple pieces of pumpkin and apple pies.

Gratitude for: Having the family together this week. Two of my children now live on their own and it takes more organizing to make time together.

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Perspective Photos:

Fall Garden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

float plane

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Writing!

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!

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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!