Writing Routine, Interrupted

A Writing Routine, Interrupted

Every morning at 8:30 am, like clockwork, I opened my WIP chapter doc, silenced my phone, and got to work. For two hours—with a ten-minute break per hour—I revised my draft before going to the office and the job that pays me money. Pure, uninterrupted bliss. Creative juices flowed. I made some substantial and beneficial revisions. This was me during my morning writing routine:

Then two things happened that completely destroyed my writing routine—we moved to a new house and I earned more responsibilities at my job.

For over a week I didn’t open my WIP.

These changes shattered my precious, productive writing routine to bits. Starting is supposed to be the hardest part. Starting over might be even harder.

Why did my writing routine go by the wayside when we moved? We put the desk and chair into the office that first day. The number of hours in the day hadn’t changed. I could still get to my paying job more or less when I pleased, as long as I got my work done on time. So, why was I struggling so much?

My excuse was, “We don’t have the Internet, yet,” which held about as much weight as a helium balloon. People have been writing, editing, and publishing books without the Internet for hundreds of years. I chose to prioritize other activities over my writing time. Instead of writing immediately after breakfast, I went to work earlier so I could get home earlier. Despite having extra hours in the late afternoon, I squandered them on other random activities.

Making Changes

I think I do my best work in the morning—after coffee and breakfast, but before anything else—but I’ve also never really tried writing in the evenings. Instead of lamenting over my “lost mornings”, I decided to experiment with writing in the late afternoon/evenings.

I love my schedule, but even super-organizers can benefit from change. If in a few weeks I feel like my brain is too zapped to write at 8pm, I’ll reassess and adjust.

My writing routine is necessary, but who ever said it had to stay the same forever?

I’d love to hear about your writing routines! Has anyone else overhauled theirs and lived to tell about it? Leave me a comment or send me a message. I welcome the light of your success stories as I hack through the muck that is my WIP, surrounded by darkness that means the sun has set.

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