If you’ve watched any interviews with writers on their writing process, you will have heard of Routine and making the space to write. The usual advice is to make sure you write every day. In this Writing Tip, we’re going to look at Routines, building ones that suit you and optimising your writing time.
What do I mean by a writing routine and why should you have one?
When I talk about creating a writing routine, I am talking about carving time out of your week to sit down and write. There are a few reasons that you should endeavour to create one.
- Similarly, to all pursuits in life, consistent practice and hard work is key to progressing with any project. In this respect writing is comparable to going to the gym or learning a new craft, if you apply yourself consistently and seek to improve, the progress will come.
- Asides from seeking to complete projects and providing you with regular space to practice the craft it gives you one other key advantage. Writing time becomes Writing time. If you establish the habit you will be able to plan around it and protect the time you have for writing from being eaten into. It’s important to note that I am not saying that you have to find time every day, for me this is often impractical which leads me to my next topic, how to establish your routine and optimise it.
In order to find the space in your week that you might best utilise for writing, it is important to consider a few factors: consistent availability, your typical energy levels at that and the environment that you wish to write are the three I most commonly consider. Whilst they are all important, I would suggest considering where you would like to work, before looking at the other two. For instance, if you feel like you need a public space such as a library or a cafe, you will have to consider their opening times. When you’ve found a time, it’s important that you utilise it effectively.
How to optimise your time:
Think about how you work. Some of you might know already what drives you to be productive, quiet spaces, a bustle of background noise, music, a cup of tea etc. If you don’t know already a good thing to do is to sit down and get on with some writing in your most comfortable work environment and make note of the actions that you take. I noticed that I would often get up for food and drink so to cut the time taken making a sandwich and tea out of my writing time I would prepare these before I started. I combined this with low level music to block background noise and was more productive in that time. What these things will be is unique to every person, but here is a small list of things that helped me.
- Bring an outline to the scene that you are going to write.
- Have everything you need to keep you in one place.
- Turn off the internet.
I hope some of these quick tips to streamline your writing time helpful. If you have any tips that you have found useful post them in the comments below!