What makes a writing routine successful?
Routines deserve the good reps they have. However, you don’t want to give yourself an overly ambitious writing schedule that’s doomed to fail, because then you’ll be sabotaging your writing practice before you even start! If you’re not an experienced writer, two hours may be all you can spend working without spinning. Better to upramp the time you spend writing in a sustainable way than to expect you’ll start writing three hours a day when you’ve been writing zero hours a day. You definitely want to avoid trying for a binge/bust work schedule. Thinking that you’ll work eight hours every Saturday is also highly unlikely. Wake up Saturday morning with a cold or a hangover and all your writing time for the week is gone. Start off with scheduling four, 2-hour writing sessions a week for yourself. This will set you on a pace that is unlikely to fry your circuits. And if you miss one writing session because of life’s curve balls, just pat yourself on the back for having another session scheduled.
As writing is a speculative endeavor, with no guarantee of fame or fortune, it needs to be something you want to do–just because it’s fun to do. If your writing time is always scheduled in a way that stresses you out, or at the expense of getting any exercise or some other activity that’s meaningful to you, the writing will come to be associated with deprivation and suffering. And then you’ll be unlikely to return to it and want to do it.
There are also reasons why so many people find the morning the most predictable and productive writing time. The mind is fresh, and if it’s the first thing you do that day, it definitely happens, as opposed to slating your writing time at the end of the day when other tasks may have squeezed down your writing time or when you’ve overtaxed your energy at work or on the kids’ homework tutoring or you’re drowsy from too many cocktails.
So, unfortunately there is no getting around this truth: if you want to have professional results, you need to put in the time to be a professional. The “magic” that improves writers’ skills and gives them the ability to finish projects only comes through regular practice and perseverance–which is the same magic of “real” magicians.
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~~~Victoria C. Rowan, Creatricks-in-Chief: Ideasmyth Inc. is the brainchild of the indefatigably energetic native New Yorker, Victoria C. Rowan, who has been fascinated by all forms of media since she started reading at three. She began editing her school’s literary magazine at 16. Since then, she has spent over 25 years working in all forms of media, writing for dozens of publications; providing
Having midwife-ed such a range of projects and enterprises she has come to this conclusion: creativity can only consistently thrive when the rest of the artist’s life works and allows space for its potential. Sessions with Victoria will not only help you craft a better book, essay, play, poem, website copy or business plan, but they will also help you become the person you always wanted to be.