May 10th, 2024

💻 On Writing Routines


There are writers out there who write for hours every day. Others write when the urge strikes them. Then there are people like me who need structure, need a schedule of sorts, to keep them writing regularly.

I’ve had a writing routine for as long as I can remember. Obviously, it has evolved over the years, through school and work and everything else that life has thrown at me. For much of my writing life, I’d wake in the early morning — usually around 5 a.m. I’d brew a pot of coffee, turn on some classical music, and sit down to write for at least two hours. The goal was to write at least 1,200 words every morning. Most of the time, I was successful — but only for a while.

I’ve always loved writing, but as the years have passed, I’ve realized that forcing myself to write a certain number of words every day results in bad writing most of the time. Sure, maybe I’d bang out another chapter or two, but I’d almost always have to rewrite everything or just get rid of it entirely. That’s no way to write.

These days, I schedule at least one hour of writing time into my daily schedule. If I write for longer than that hour, great. If I don’t? I try not to beat myself up over it. While I love writing in the morning, sometimes that’s just not possible and I’ll have to write at night — and that’s okay.

Outside of that scheduled hour each day, I simply write when I can or whenever the urge hits. Even if it’s just a few sentences while taking the bus somewhere, that’s a small victory for me. After years of not writing at all, I take whatever I can get on any given day.

I still have a writing routine, but it’s a much less stressful one, and that’s perfect for me, given my anxiety levels and the general state of the world.

My advice? Write whenever you can. Don’t worry about the word count. Just get the words down. Even if it’s only sentences here and there, you’ll be surprised at how influential those few sentences can be on your writing habits.

So, go. Just write.