Basic strategies to install a writing routine into your life.
All successful writers talk about the importance of a writing routine.
Most authors have a set place to write and a set routine for writing. Whether this is a side hustle or your main job a routine is as important.
When you are juggling a family, work and writing it is hard. Every time you get there, the rest of your life will push back to interfere with it.
So what will help you establish this routine:
Start by planning your writing sessions, where and when are you going to write. Add this to a diary or planner will help you ensure you stick to this. I don’t have a set time but a set moment. After my daughter goes to bed I write for an hour. Then spend half hour on marketing and half hour reading posts from others. It is roughly the same time every night, but not exactly.
Fit your routine around your life and commitments.
There are so many moments in a day when I can generate the basics of what I am going to write. Think about your posts; in the car on the way to work; sitting on the loo; whilst you make coffee. If you train yourself to work on your headlines and content during the day, the hour of typing will not be wasted.
Sure you might get a killer idea you don’t want to forget at some point. That is what a note application is for or a pad a pen. A minute to jot down the basics so you don’t forget it.
Mentally plan your posts, before your writing time.
Be Kind To Yourself
Writing is important, but never more important than your family. If something happens and you miss your time to write, then don’t beat yourself up about it. The more you beat yourself up the more it affects your creativity.
Instead allow yourself to have the time off, write a post about it. There will always be events we can’t control where any job would take a back seat.
I gave myself a week off last year to go on holiday, no writing at all. My productivity after that week was amazing. I also came home with several post ideas.
Time off, if needed is a good thing.
Put social media aside. The world does not stop turning if you don’t check Facebook every ten minutes, it goes on quite well without you. I use Scrivener for the first draft of my posts. There is a function that locks everything else out. Just you, a keyboard and a page of typing. It has doubled my productivity.
My routine allows for half an hour of marketing and social media. With this in mind, I am not tempted to use my writing time for social media.
Be honest with your family and tell them what your plan is for writing. Supportive families will help ensure those hours are sacred and minimise disruptions. This again will help keep to your routine.
Get others to help you avoid distractions if possible. Time is better than a word count.
Use time, not a word count
I don’t set myself a word count per day but use time. In that hour of typing, I could accomplish 2000 words or 20. This is dependent on my mood and how the article is going.
A day I have struggled for an hour with writer’s block, is as productive a day as when I wrote 2000 words.
Make writing about quality, not quantity.
Journalling starts the writing process
Many authors talk about the benefits of journalling as soon as you wake. This starts the creative process from the moment you wake. I find journalling in the morning very difficult. In all honesty, I find anything in the morning before 3 cups of coffee, challenging.
I journal every evening instead, before I start writing my posts. It starts the creative process. It also relaxes the brain and starts the writer creating ideas. There are many different ways to write a journal, so finding one that works for you is important. I just let my brain download onto the page. Almost like my subconscious mind controls the pen.
However you journal, it will start the creative process.
Using these basic tips will help you establish your writing routine. 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, the audience, followers come next.
Share your writing routine below.