These past two weeks have been killers for my writing routine. No blame, just busy, busy, busy with life. Visiting family (love them by the way), necessary interruptions, oh and moving my sister to a new home. Sore legs, but I like her new place. (Anyway, back to the main reason for this post.)
I thought I’d come up with a list of ways to get back in the writing habit.
1. BICHOK-Get that butt in the chair and get going. Sounds simple right.
2. Set goals. I’m not talking about word count goals, although aiming for a certain number each day would also be a great thing. I mean daily writing goal lists. If part of that is researching historical clothing, then that’s part of your writing day. Striking items off your list gives a sense of accomplishment. But a cautionary statement, be reasonable about them. Don’t pile too much stuff onto that list or set an almost unmeetable word count goal. A long list is daunting and not finishing a list will make it seem as if you didn’t get much done. Things will be pushed to the next day and then the next. If needed and there’s time, items can be added. One at a time.
3.Prepare the night before. I’m not one of those prepare clothes the night before school or work so that there’s no time wasted searching in the morning. Can’t decide until I’m up what I’ll want to wear. In writing terms, prepare for the next scene your writing. This I’ve started. It’s a little early to tell if it’s working, but I’m going to continue it.
If it’s needed, set out your research. Map out the scene you’ll be working on so that you don’t have to do it the next morning or start writing cold. Dig deeper into that character.
4. Start a routine specifically to prepare your mind for your writing day. That way every time you do that set of things, your mind knows it’s time to get down to work. For me, I’m starting this way. I power up the laptop, get something to drink, turn on the music, look at my pin board for notes and check my notepad (actual paper pad) for anything I put down last night about the characters or scene after I’d logged off the computer. Check my plot chart for the point where I stopped and open up the manuscript to where I stopped.
5. Unplug. Yep, the hardest one of all. Step away from that phone and unplug or switch off the internet on your laptop or computer. This one gives me some problems. I’m easily distracted by the shiny internet. I think that there’s a program or an app that will block the internet for a set amount of time, but that will mean more time on the internet searching. Searching can lead to tangent searches. Yes, my search history is interesting.
6. Discipline. Start at the same time every day or every night if that’s when you do your writing. Keep at it.
7. Keep track of your progress. If you want to go more in depth, you can track when you write and how much you get done, if there are any interruptions, etc. Even a small change in when you write can yield results.
8. Focus on the writing. Do not go back and edit while you write. It’s tempting. If I’m sitting there and I suddenly see that I have a misspelled word three lines up, it takes effort to keep focusing on the story. I could fix it, but if I do, it will break my train of thought, the rhythm. Aside from that, I know I’ll see another mistake soon. I have to keep telling myself that I can fix that in the 2nd or 3rd draft.
9. Give yourself time to simply enjoy yourself. Go see a movie you’ve been waiting to see. Go out and enjoy yourself. Everyone needs time to relax . When you’re back, you can sit down and start writing.
So got any other tips about getting back into the writing routine?