Read advice from any established author and they speak about the importance of an established writing routine. Most authors have a set place to write and a set routine for writing. Now I hear you cry it is alright for them, all they do is write as a career. They are not like us starting on our journey. Juggling a career, family and writing. I long for the day that I can write everyday and make a living out of it. This is why it has been hard for me to establish a routine. Every time I get close, the rest of my life pushes back to interfere with it.
I started planning three sessions in a week, where I could write. As my little girl got older this got pushed aside as I needed to put her to bed. Writing is important to me but never more important than my daughter. I have beat myself mental for a year about not having a routine. The more I beat myself up the less likely I am to write. Experience has taught me don’t beat yourself up it is rubbish for your creative process.
As I have relaxed, my writing routine has wiggled and squirmed into position and found its own space. It is simple really, when I have put my little girl to bed I go into my office, luckily the room is beside her’s. Whilst I wait for her to fall asleep I write. Most times she is snoring before I finish. I used to spend this time on social media. I am here to tell you this part of your life can always be pushing back. The world does not stop turning if you don’t check Facebook every ten minutes, it goes on quite well without you. If I write for ten minutes and then have the urge to go and see my partner, I stop and leave it for the day. No pressure. I have found on a good day I can write over 1000 words in ten minutes.
I have also started writing in my journal every evening which is a lovely place to chill my brain and write down ideas and everyday worries and concerns. Journal writing I understand is not for everyone but there are many different ways to write a journal so finding one that works for you is important. I just let my brain unload onto the page. Almost like my sub conscious mind controls the pen. This the one true place I don’t worry about spelling and grammar. The journal is mine and only for me so why bother.
With all of these little writing routines I do not beat myself up if they don’t work. If you spend all your time mentally slapping yourself for missed opportunities, you will never write. For example last night I was simply too tired from work to write. I didn’t worry about it I just gave myself a holiday and thought tomorrow is a new day and here I am writing again. I have also decided that I would publish two articles a week; one to medium; one to my blog. Wednesday and Sunday being my preferred posting days. It is now Thursday and I am just finishing this post. Again I do not beat myself up about it. It is getting done and will be published.
It is important to remember sometimes life gets in the way of writing. Don’t be too hard on yourself and the writing routine will squeeze itself back in. Most of all have fun. Writing is for the writer primarily, the audience and followers come next.