Writing Advice: On Routines


A writing routine is one of the best tools at your disposal when it comes to being productive. Most writers will tell you that they have a certain time each day, or each week, set aside for just working on their writing projects. It can be as simple as writing twenty minutes every evening, or half an hour every morning. Whatever routine you set up for yourself, the most important thing is sticking to it. No matter whether you’re feeling inspired or not, you must force yourself to sit down and adhere to the writing routine. Even if you sit there, staring at the blank page and writing down nothing, at least you are establishing the routine in your mind. This is something that I believe in very strongly.

However, life happens. This is something that no writer, however dedicated they may be, can escape. I am, of course, speaking from experience. For the month of July and most of August, I had a pretty good writing routine established and was getting some work done. Then I happened to get in a car accident and that just sent my creativity flying straight away from me. There were forms to fill out and phone calls to make and those things filled my evenings rather than the writing routine I had set up for myself.

As I write this post, I have not been able to return to my writing routine just yet. But November is swiftly approaching and, as you may know, that is the month in which I traditionally attempt National Novel Writing Month. I’m hoping that this will give me the creative push that I need to get back into writing, or even planning my NaNo story for this year.

So, where is the advice in this post? Keep to a writing routine. But when life happens — and it will happen — allow yourself to take a break. When stress gets in the way, don’t be too hard on yourself. Give yourself the breathing space that you need, and then return to the routine bit by bit when you can. Happy writing!

— Jet Fuel Blog Editor, Mary Egan

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