Sunday, January 8, 2012

Three Ways to Get Back to Your Writing Routine

Well, the holidays are over. I always feel a bit of a letdown in January. Of course, some of that is because of my hatred of winter weather. 

Structured Schedule

Another reason I feel out of sorts is that I’m happiest and most productive with a structured schedule. I like to write at certain things on certain days at a certain time. The holidays interfered with that routine.

During the holidays, it became impossible to write as many blogs, do as much research or write for my book. This gives me a feeling that I am behind schedule and that is rather paralyzing if I don’t get back into a routine. I find myself having this feeling of “Okay, what am I supposed to be doing now.”

I know many writers don’t structure their writing. With other commitments such as family, exercise, keeping up with social media and just plain life, I feel that if my writing isn’t scheduled, it will take a back seat to the other activities.

If you are like me, here are three ways to get back into the harness of a writing schedule:

1)      Make a list of all responsibilities. Yes, I believe if you want to be a productive writer you have to see your writing as a responsibility. I don’t mean in a burden kind of way but rather a response to an inner need. I have to be accountable to my spirit that calls for me to write.

2)      Set deadlines, especially for your writing. Of course, I don’t always have a choice on my deadline because my editors give me deadlines. I always schedule my personal deadline a couple of days earlier than my editor’s to be sure I’m completely confident with the completeness and quality of my piece.

3)      Put this list and the deadlines on a scheduling calendar. I have one on my iPad that is very useful. I put everything in it. That way, when I’m making appointments, I won’t schedule another event during my writing time. If a conflict comes up it is easy to move times and dates around on the calendar.
Don't Let Writer's Block Set In

Not having a routine that calls their muse into action is why some people have writers’ block. I really think that writers’ block is just the lack of writing. One of those vicious circles in life. If you schedule time to write and sit down and write anything, your inner spiritual muse will wake up and say, “Hey, we can do better than that.” Then you’ll be off writing what you need to write.

If you have a schedule or if you can’t abide having a schedule, please comment so we can compare how writers live their writing lives.

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