I love my routines — especially when they relate to writing. At the beginning of every new semester or session of writing workshops, it can be a struggle to settle into a routine. I’ve learned to give it time to settle because I know that routine ensures my creative habit.
When paradise weather sets in, I begin my day with coffee and my journal on the lanai. The scenery inspires me and I enter “auto-gratitude” mode which is a great way to begin each day. The journaling is a warm-up for writing so it’s easy to transition to writing at a computer screen.
For new writers, it can be tough to create the writing habit, yet a regular writing routine sets a career in motion. Once you’ve set a schedule, it’s frustrating when life messes with it. It’s okay if the schedule is sporadic from time to time. It will settle back into place when the timing is right. Until then, try to write everyday – for at least 20 minutes. This time adds up. In six days you’ll have 2 hours’ worth of work. You’ll be amazed what you might accomplish.
If family interruptions stifle your writing plans, it’s even more important to set a regular writing schedule. Not only will it help your family realize you’re serious about your writing (and if you want to receive payment, it is at least a part-time job) but it helps you take your writing seriously.
One woman I know posted “office hours” to help family get the point. Another made a “mailbox” by taping a file folder to the door. If the kids wanted to ask her something, they wrote it on a slip and put it in the mailbox, which she checked several times a day. Only emergencies warranted interrupting. Other tricks include wearing a specific “writing” hat — if it’s on your head, no one interrupts the creative flow.
If you have small children, they won’t understand that you’re “working” so you may have to focus on adding up paragraphs instead of minutes. Target writing one paragraph during nap time. They’ll build to a story or article in a few days.
Every little bit helps.