Monday, September 24, 2012

The Writer's Life


Rituals make up a good portion of our writing/artistic life. We feel comfort in sticking to rituals that help us achieve our goals. But sometimes life interferes with the routines we would like to maintain.

This weekend I had an amazing rally from my writer friends on Facebook (you know who you are) who offered words of comfort and advice, most of which was to keep writing no matter what.  

As writers we all have our struggles to find time to write amidst the many responsibilities that pull at us. We have people we love that need our time, and responsibilities to other endeavors in our life like jobs or school, or maybe health issues that interfere with how much time we can spend on writing. Our fictional world pulls at us to be written down, and we need time and quiet to get into our imagination, formulate our new scenarios and write them out (at least I need quiet—some people have their favorite music).

So, what do we do to get to the writing? I decided to highlight a blog post that offers the rituals, routines and habits of our more famous writers so you can draw inspiration from them if you need it-or just in case you're just curious.


I could relate to the routines of several writers/artists but found that I have my own routine that works best to get things rolling along smoothly for me:
·                    Get up between 4-5 am and read/meditate/jot down ideas then sometimes, go back to bed.
·                    Get up again around 7-8 am, have coffee & toast.
·                    I do the daily Sodoku while catching news on TV, and read a few funnies and the artist/movies section of the newspaper to see what’s going on in the city of interest to me.
·                    Dress, walk the dogs and then begin working on writing. I’m into it until I unplug-sometimes at noon and sometimes not until around 4 pm, depending on what interruptions are bound to intrude, or shopping that needs to be done.

Do you have a writing routine? Care to share it? How consistent are you in keeping to it?


16 comments:

John Brantingham said...

I write in the morning before I walk the dog and then after I walk the dog. The dog walk becomes a meditation on the writing. This is consistent. Also, I teach and write one hour a day during the week with my students. It's call "Shut up and Write Club" and it works!

Liv said...

I started reading the 25 daily rituals post (and your routine too, for that matter) and it made my brain hurt. I'm not sure I've worked the same schedule two weeks running in the last I-don't-know-how-many years. I work night shift, and while there's a general pattern, it varies wildly. Generally I try to write 1000 words a day (not counting blog posts). How and when I get it done is open to interpretation.
;)

Patricia Caviglia said...

During the week, I usually write at night, but on the weekends, I prefer mornings.

William Doonan said...

I give myself weekly deadlines. Then by midweek, if I'm not making progress, the stress begins. Then either I buckle down or I give up and drink beer in the tub. Either way, it's still a ritual.

www.williamdoonan.com

Cora said...

Sounds like a good routine. I can't seem to get in a meditative walk with my dogs--maybe because there are two and they are so different. The leads tend to tangle up and I'm constantly having to keep them separate and not strangle my little chihuahua-so a meditative state is out on those walks.

Cora said...

When I was teaching, I wrote at night and really had to push to get it done because I am a morning person. I think your schedule makes it difficult to keep any routine going so writing whenever you find time is your routine, and it sounds like you get it done:)) A thousand words a day is good.

Cora said...

When I have crazy weeks, I try for a weekly amount, but I like your idea of drinking a beer in the tub instead of stressing.

Anonymous said...

Rituals don't work for me because I can't write in the morning. I'm off to my day job and hopefully can get some writing done at night before I collapse. The weekends are my best writing time when I can start fresh and keep going all day without watching the clock.
Sally Carpenter

Julie Farrar said...

I've been thinking about this a lot because I really got off of my routine and I can't get back on, hence little writing. I read about all those writers who scribble scribble scribble in every spare moment and awkward place. But I can't do serious writing done like that. I can take some basic notes, but mostly I use that time to read. Let's just say, with my schedule lately I'm getting a lot of reading done.

Tami Clayton said...

I'm a night person so I do more of my creative story and blog writing then. Unfortunately, that leads to staying up way too late and then I have to get up and go to work the next morning. I read blogs, comment, tweet, FB in the mornings while I have my coffee, though as I continue to increase the number of blogs I read this is getting more difficult to accomplish during breakfast.

comedyoferrers said...


right now I have a non-writing habit...

Ellen Gregory said...

I'm way out of routine at present. Dayjob has been very busy. I have tried writing before work. I'm NOT a morning person, so I find it almost impossible to get out of bed, but when I do get into a good routine I find it surprisingly productive. But I can't sustain it because I go to bed too late. I tend therefore to write at night, which is hard after a long day at work. And I'm also trying to fit in a workout (and blogging and social media...). Hence no routine at present :-(

Cora said...

Sounds like that is your ritual--nights and weekends.

Cora said...

Sometimes I find my schedule is like that--shot to #ell. Reading is part of the process of writing so don't feel too guilty. You'll get back there.

Cora said...

We can only do so much and then something has to give. Don't let it be your writing. I have stayed up nights, or rather gotten up after sleeping a bit, for some very productive writing time. It is the only time where the interruptions are few, if any, and much can be accomplished.

Cora said...

Sometimes it's like that. Write whenever you can, it's all you can do. When I was working long days, I would have dinner and forgo TV and work for a few hours. Or, go to bed early and get up sometime in the night to work a few, then go back to sleep. I also took a short nap when I got off work on those days and that seemed to be enough. Good luck, Ellen. Hang in there.