Since all of those thoughts need to come out of me head, writing just goes with this time of year in the same cozy way as fuzzy socks and soup.
This is quite timely because, as I mentioned the other day, I got a scholarship to do this online writing class with the colorfully wonderful SARK and Dr. Scott Mills.
So, naturally, I’ve been trying to get into a rhythm with my writing groove (and also, in all honesty, my life in general, but that’s an ongoing saga) But the super amazing thing about the writing portion is.......
I’ve been (somewhat-semi-almost-) successful in writing a bit every day.
Yes, almost every single day!
(OK, it’s only been like a week and a half, but STILL! I am feeling uber writerly!
Anyhoo, just in case any of you are thinking you’d like to get a little more committed to putting pen to paper, I thought I’d share my super easy 12 step writing routine for your consideration..
Here you have it~ my no fail writing routine:
- Clear a space to be creative~ fuzzy blanket, laptop, pens, journal, 14 books~ maybe even a candle if I’m feeling super zesty!
- Open laptop
- Stare momentarily at the 45 tabs I left open last time (open jaw optional)
- Realize I don’t have coffee within reach
- Find coffee cup, refill and return to laptop
- Attempt to remove some of the digital visual clutter by closing tabs, realize that they were still open in the first place because I wanted to deal with them and still hadn’t, spend at least 15 minutes reading / watching or otherwise dealing with and closing at least 3 of them.
- Feel proud of myself for taking care of business and take a Facebook break. (This may or may not, but probably will lead to opening at least 7 more tabs being opened. It's a vicious cycle)
- Realize I don’t have any water within reach, and since good hydration solves a myriad of woes, go get water.
- Realize I haven’t eaten, and how am I supposed to think / create without proper nutrition? Go make a snack
- Run into kids in the kitchen (or stop by their rooms to say hi) Get sidetracked talking to them about their day, what's for dinner, their friends, the immense sadness and disappointment surrounding the US presidential election, the meaning of life, etc and so on.
- Realize that an enormous amount of time has passed and I still haven’t written anything. Promptly yell at everyone to leave me alone so I can write in peace and ignore their excuses that they didn’t interrupt because they were peacefully doing whatever they were doing when I sought them out. Whatever. I don’t have time for that teen logic. I have writing to do!
- Shut my door. Set a timer on my phone for 15 minutes and force myself to do nothing else but just write during that time. Grumble, but begrudgingly write ramblings that may or may not be coherent. Inevitably, when the timer goes off, I am on a roll. The words are flowing and I wonder how the time flew. More often than not, I continue to write for another 15 to 45 minutes before getting sidetracked again.
- Bonus Step! Celebrate~ Whoohoo! You did it (accomplishment always feels sooooooo good!)
As you may have already guessed, the only one of these things that is remotely useful to my writing life is #12~ Forcing myself to start writing.
The celebrating is good too, and honestly so is the coffee, but really, the only thing that really matters is starting writing.
The biggest problems with that seem to be distractions~ both real and ones we make up to procrastinate for whatever psychological reasons are brewing in the head. I have a whole lotta trouble with this myself (as you may have noticed) but really, if you wanna be a writer, you just gotta force yourself to start writing.
The other big issue a lot of people have is being blocked. It seems like we block ourselves with whatever internal and external demons we have that we turn into reasons to not write, but like all things in life, the more you sit and lament about all the reasons it’s hard, the more likely that YOU’RE NEVER GONNA FREAKING GET ANYTHING DONE!!!!!
Sorry (notsorry) to yell, but sheesh!
I used to work with a hilarious woman from Oklahoma who had all sorts of country wisdom about life and I think she would probably say something like “Quit yer complaining and get yer arse busy.”
She might also comment on there being more useful things to do in the world than writing, but the point is, whatever you’re wanting to make happen, you just gotta take a little step towards it to get the ball rolling. (And I happen to think writing is a very useful pastime myself)
One of the things Dr. Scott Mills told our class in regards to being blocked is to just start by writing “This is the first sentence.” and there you have it, you started.
I suppose it could go on and you could repeat for the second and third, but I feel like at some point, something else would come out and even if it was awful and grammatically incorrect unusable gibberish, it would still help get the block out, right?
Anyhoo~ if you’re inclined towards creating a writing routine of your own, you could consider trying any or all of my 13 steps, or you could skip the rest, or just doing whatever you need to in order to make step #12 happen.
There are tools and planners and timers and all sorts of helpful doodads to aide in the cause, but not one of them will actually make you write. (Don’t get me wrong, I love planners and gizmos, and have about a bazillion)
But, only you can actually make yourself write, and the good news / bad news is that you can do it without anything besides something to capture your words in. So, grab your notebook and pen, or laptop (and coffee, cause that really does help) and good luck getting those thoughts out of your head and into some sort of reality.
Do you have any tips that help you get into a routine to get things done? Please share in the comments below, and if you like this post, please "like" it on Facebook and share with a friend! Thanks!