I’m 3,700 words and three scenes into my book and have learned this: routine builds routine.
That looks stupid typed out like that, but it’s true.
See, I made a block of my day that’s non-negotiable writing time. It’s two hours in the late morning when I’ve got the homemaking things I need to do early done, and the inevitable crush of getting supper to the family isn’t pressing down on me yet. I sit down, listen to a short podcast or two on writing, reread the previous day’s scene and write. Funnily enough, there’s little wasted time between when I start and end. It’s just a fast hour of banging out 1000-1500 words.
That puzzled me a bit until I reflected on it some because I’ve been writing fanfic for the last few years and it’s almost always been more of a struggle to get my ideas down. I think what’s going on now is threefold. First, I have a clear goal of finishing a draft in six months. Second, these are all my own characters in my own world and there’s no anxiety about getting voices or settings ‘right’. Third, and most importantly, I finish a scene one day, think about the following one for the rest of that day, and start with a clear vision of what I need to accomplish the next.
I’ve built a routine out of the routine I set down for writing.
Now I’m formalizing it. I do the morning writing block, then housework while I plan out the next day’s scene. Come late afternoon or early evening I write down and outline and bam, the wheel turns again the nest morning. Eventually I might make myself cover a couple of scenes a day, but I can afford to let this habit grow organically, so why not?
If anyone is reading this blog, I’d sure love to know what routine, if any, you’ve set in place for your writing!