My Writing Routines
Because I was drowning in loneliness, I recently signed up for a creative writing course at a local college. Of course, this brilliant means of socialization has landed me about 22 new friends twice my age – many retired – but what’s a girl to expect from a 1pm class on a weekday?
Our warm, encouraging instructor has suggested ways in which we could enhance our writing routine. And today as she listed habits, trinkets, and beverages to get the creative juices flowing, I realized that I already had many such helpful routines in place. May I share them?
Before writing, I clear my desk. Bills and mail to be answered are to the right side of my desk and are dealt with first. Documents to the left are usually longer articles to be read or notes related to teaching theology. Then I turn to the laptop and answer, archive, or sort new emails. Once all emails have been read and archived or sorted into folders (such as “Saved”, “Submitted Manuscripts”, “Receipts”, etc.), then I will read one or two articles on writing or publishing.
I have an oversized scarf that I wrap around my shoulders, and I let the little space heater get to buzzing. I open a tab with Thesaurus.com, which is saved as a favorite on my bookmark ticker. I close all social media tabs, silence my phone, and set it aside.
Now I am ready to write! Usually I have a goal for the day. Today’s was to complete a character synopsis for the new novel. If I find I am having trouble with word flow, I usually turn on Pandora and play a station with the soundtracks to period movies (my favorite is A&E’s Pride and Prejudice). If I’m really having trouble with inspiration, or the puppy is watching me with seething eyeballs of neediness, I relocate to the couch and snuggle with the furry one while typing away.
I sit at that desk (or couch) until I am starting to feel a woozy from hunger. I get hungry frequently throughout the day, so that’s usually the first interruption to the writing. Then I eat, take the dog out for a quick Frisbee toss, and it's back to the desk.
After the late morning routine, I’ve usually got one more writing session left in me before housework or errands call me away. But I find that I am near useless after dinner. In the late hours, I start to feel anxious about my future in the writing business, question how productive my day was, become critical of my own writing, and all sorts of other accusing voices shout so loudly over the Word Processor that I can’t get a darned thing written. Anyway, that’s my only time with Husband Hill so why do anything else?
You know what I’d like to add to my writing routine? Beignets. It’s the only thing I’m missing.
Until next week!