I’ve never been one for consistency. Because of that, I figured I could just write every other day and still get to my goals. In retrospect, my logic was incredibly flawed. Some writers can write in chunks, yeah, but I’ve never been one of them. When I look at how I write, it’s obvious I tend to go in hour-long spurts, even if I’m incredibly motivated. There’s just too many distractions, or my anxiety will kick in and I lose my groove.
So instead of letting this beat me, I’ve taken it to task. Time for a new routine. It looks a little like this:
- Mornings (7-11am): Eat, relax, wake up, drink some tea, talk with the husband. Fiddle on Twitter and social media stuff. Write for an hour or two if I’m feeling motivated. If not, well, it’s not a requirement at this point because my morning coherence is too random to try and cement into a routine.
- Afternoons (11am-4:30pm): Get to work. Write for an hour, take 5-15 minute breaks. During those breaks do either housework or workout sessions. Repeat for at least two hours, more if I can manage it. I write around 800-1000 words in an hour.
- Evenings (5pm – sleep time, typically 10-11:30pm): If still inspired, write for another hour or two. If I just can’t focus, do an hour of cleaning or workout instead. Eat dinner, hang out with husband and friends. Allow myself to turn on Skype and derp until it’s time to sleep.
This is a very relaxed and yet not schedule. If I wake up with energy and am ready to tackle my writing in the morning? Perfect, there’s room for an hour or two (maybe even three) of writing. But at the end of every hour I take a 5-15 minute break to work out or do housework, no matter what. Simple things that keep me up and not totally sedentary. Maybe this way I’ll lose all the weight I want to — finally.
If I wake up a total zombie, that’s okay too. I can still get plenty done in the afternoon.
The afternoon is the inflexible part of my routine (when I don’t have things to go do during the day. Since school is out for the summer, that won’t be happening too much during the work week). I need to start getting off my butt and just doing work. It’s a no shit Sherlock thing, but I thought I could do work off and on, off and on, and still be okay. Obviously that wasn’t panning out.
Case in point: I wrote 4,400 words yesterday in four hour-long sessions and went from an 8,000 word WIP for my romance pen name (which I won’t give out here) to 12,400 word WIP in one day. I did this all in the afternoon, until about 6pm. Then I derped all night long without feeling unproductive. Because I had worked out a lot, too. 10 minutes for each hour break is 40 minutes of working out. I can math enough to figure that out, and my body definitely felt it.
The real beauty of this schedule is the amount of words I’ll get in per day. At a minimum of two hour-long sessions, I will get around 1,500 words in without fail, 2,500 if I’m really on the ball for those two hours. If I manage to do more sessions? It could be anywhere from 3,000 to 4,000 words that day. I expect to see real progress in my WIP’s soon. (Also because I’m treating them like shitty first drafts and just getting them out of my head without giving myself anxiety attacks.)
So that’s my new plan, and my new routine. Hopefully you’ll see way more productivity from me now.
What is your daily routine (writing or otherwise)?