Routines: Make Them and Break Them

“What is a typical day for you?”  “How do you find time to write every day?”  “Where do you do your writing?”  “What is your routine?”

Some of the most common questions asked of writers focus on their routine.  Why are routines so important?  Why is everyone so concerned with having the right one?

I think she spelled “Get back to work” wrong.

We all know that writers are incredibly focused and organized with their time.  They are certainly never distracted by responsibilities of parenthood, dirty dishes, perusing Facebook, or the unusual spider on the window.  But on the off-chance that a writer does get distracted, routines establish writing as a habit.  They create regular “butt-in-chair” space to make sure that writers actually write.  And because it is a space that the writer will be visiting regularly, it is important that the space and time of day are inspiring.

However, breaking routine is just as important as having one.  Even the most perfect chair in the most perfect nook with a perfect view of a flowerbed and mountains in the distance at that time when birds are whistling and the morning mist is rising with the perfect mug of tea warming you is going to get stale after a while.  Once you’ve established your perfect routine, break it.  Go for bike ride, make a writer’s date at a new coffee shop, or stop into an art gallery.  It might shake up your thinking just enough to spark a brilliant idea.  Then you can go back to your perfect nook and write it down.

Next step: Start smoking a pipe.

As you can see, I’ve been out of the routine of writing for the last couple months.  I had new jobs, I moved into a new house, and unusual spiders were abundant.  Then a friend gave me an antique typewriter.  It was so different from a laptop, I couldn’t wait to write on it.   Since then, I have written nearly every morning.  On my laptop.  In the same coffee shop.  The typewriter broke my routine just enough to inspire me right back into it.


1 Comment

Filed under Thoughts and Insights

One response to “Routines: Make Them and Break Them

  1. I love it! “The _______________ broke my routine just enough to inspire me right back into it.” Yes, yes, yes!!!

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