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[*] posted on 7-3-2011 at 04:22 PM
What is your writing routine?


My sister has a very rigid writing routine: dictative silence, only at night, in her room, using a laptop, never in public, and never on Sunday.

I'm a little more flexible. I like to write at night, but any time works; I like to have a cup of coffee or tea; I like silence, but soft music playing can be inspiring; incense or a candle burning is pleasant; and I like to use my laptop, but a notebook or the old desktop will do.

Any fun routine you need to write--or write better?
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[*] posted on 7-3-2011 at 04:36 PM


I find it easier to work when the kids are at school. My week days usually involve me getting them off and then a spot of housework before settling down to write. Now I've got everything coming through Gmail, I get notifications about emails, so I don't have to check that now (I've edits due and a short on sub) so first port of call is usually Twitter, to "meet" with friends and then into Word for my daily word count.

I've three weeks left of this normality, then the holidays start :rolleyes:




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[*] posted on 7-3-2011 at 04:49 PM


My writing routine that i have is sitting in a chair sometime with the TV off playing a movie on my computer. While writing or listening to my music on the computer while i am writing in the living room sitting on the couch or sometimes sitting in a chair inside the living room.

I sometimes lie on my bed in my bedroom to have peace and quiet. While i write though i do choose to either have total silence when i write or just some instrumental music playing in the background.

As i write or even techno too. technically i kind of multitask as i write so i do more then one writing project. Besides reading and watching movies since we do not have TV right now.

Because we only have internet and phone no cable yet. Though which to tell is my everyday writing activity of multitasking. I know it is crazy for some people or anyone in the world to try to do however for me it works and keeps me writing.




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[*] posted on 7-4-2011 at 12:58 AM


Once I can actually get my routine on the roll, I'll be writing in the evenings either while the kids are watching TV/having dinner, or after having dinner with my mum and hubby, for however long they allow me to. And then I'll be writing again as soon as I've seen hubby off to work in the morning and the kids are distracted with their breakfasts.
But the most writing I think I'll get in is when/if I walk my daughter to kindy. That leaves me with 4 and a half hours to kill in town before I have to go fetch her. I think that's where I'm going to get the most of my writing done this month. Either at the library or at the foodcourt - it depends on how hungry I am and how self-aware I am on the day. I always feel like people are staring when I write in public.

Weekends, I'm hoping to create a routine where I can jet off to a nearby park or wildlife reserve for an hour, and find a nice, semi-secluded, sunny spot to sit down and write. That's where I seem to get the most writing done.
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[*] posted on 7-4-2011 at 09:17 AM


I mostly procrastinate all day, procrastinate some more and then start writing when it's actually time to go to bed... But when I'm lucky I'm able to start earlier.

Normally I'm quite flexible with where I write, but my laptop broke down, so now it's only in my office. Always have music, a movie or one of my favorite tv-shows on while I'm writing. 'Cause I need something to distract me, while writing :rolleyes:
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[*] posted on 7-4-2011 at 12:12 PM


Writing routine? What's that? O.o

I don't think there's ANYTHING "routine" I do when I write. I have a writing playlist, a list of 100 of the best 70s-90s songs, so I'll usually play that on low. And I'll write anywhere I can find that's comfy and dry. Times always vary since I'm a university student. I like nights, but since I have an 8:30am class starting soon, I think that will have to change. :rolleyes:

Like I asked before, what writing routine? ;)




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[*] posted on 7-4-2011 at 12:38 PM


Routine... For writing... Nope. Don't have one.

But I can tell you my ideal routine, if I didn't have a job and a home and family to look after...

6am get up, run, shower
7am. Take computer to coffee shop and write with access to ready made coffee when needed until lunch.
11am Recharge laptop, watch lunchtime news, eat
1pm back to coffeeshop or library for another 4 hours of writing,
5pm call it a day.

This would assume 8hours of solid writing, and would probably generate upwords of 4,000 words a day, depending on quality.

Ahh.... I can dream...

But in reality, it's up, run, dressed, work, home, feed family, clean up house, check forums, write for a bit, get interrupted, write a bit more, interrupted again... *shrugs*




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[*] posted on 7-4-2011 at 05:23 PM


Basically I'll wake up (whenever that actually is - usually about 5-6 in the evening) and eat then I'll curl up on my bed (sitting up with my back against the pillows) and type for as long as I can. I usually have videos or music in the background through my headphones though. I don't do too well in complete silence. I think I'm gonna try to write for at least four hours a day this month since I have two projects going and I'm really behind on one of them. I've never been good at focusing for too long on one thing, though. (Attention Deficit-Ooh, Shiny! at it's finest.)



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[*] posted on 7-4-2011 at 08:04 PM


I write after 10pm and before 10am... that's when I usually can work without getting too much distracted and it's not when I work (Yay for part-time!) and I can be with friends and do other stuff the whole day (like today I went to London fair and bought 2 books... :D)

My writing schedule is something like this:
write, check e-mail, read some blogs, and rethink my idea of becoming an author, write, talk to my boyfriend, write, update wordcount in the xls-sheet, check facebook, update status, write, comment on comments on facebook, update wordcount, check the spelling on one of my characters name (Caoilfhionn, she's from Ireland and it's pronounced Kaelin (ish)) write, check another writing site, write, update wordcount, realize it's 2 am and decide to go to bed, write, update wordcount, have a whispering argument with boyfriend about the time, check the wordcount and how many words I need to write tomorrow, complain to boyfriend that I need to go to bed earlier, remember to save, double check the wordcount and the nice extra chart I did, admire the staples and lines in the chart, turn off laptop and go to bed.

Rinse and repeat. Well, the days I'm working I'd be going to work instead of London Fair, but anyways, pretty much the same every day :)




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[*] posted on 7-5-2011 at 11:17 AM


I pretty much try to write whenever and wherever I have some free time.



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[*] posted on 7-5-2011 at 11:18 AM


I write when I'm not reading or having to do something like work or sleep. Pretty much, writing is my life. It keeps me sane which means it is rather essential to everything I am and do.



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[*] posted on 7-5-2011 at 12:06 PM


I usually don't really have a writing routine.
But I can work best with music blasting through my headphone.
Recently that has been the latest Duran Duran CD, Ultravox Best of, Doctor Who series 5 soundtrack and TRON legacy OST.
Because I can get bored of the music I play I try to find new music when I'm planning to get into writing very deeply. Like on WriMo's.




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[*] posted on 7-14-2011 at 03:16 PM
My routine--cue the heavy sigh


My writing routine is a bit problematic. It’s not that I don’t have one. Oh no. I have a writing routine; indeed I do. The problem is the routine O.o! It’s not the routine I want. It’s not the routine I need. Rather it is a dishonest routine that reinforces mediocrity, hardens bad habits and as a result, showcases my compositional insincerity and bolsters my less than spectacular output. Let me describe it for you.

For the most part, my laptop is the medium of choice on which to compose, but I take/make notes, play with names, compose outlines, make story maps or plot centered ‘blue prints’ in subject specific hand-written journals from time to time as well.

My favorite environment by far is my wonderful personal home library—a room dedicated to books and writing with easy chairs, reading lamps, filled to bursting book shelves, a huge desk, doors that close, internet access, multiple outlets and a large 145 pound Irish wolfhound/Great Pyrenees mix thrown in to make one feel rather…ehm…lordly. I am extremely lucky to have such a refuge and because of it, I don’t need to go to the local coffee shop to get my writing ‘groove’ on. The kitchen and coffee pot are but steps away. Speaking of which…

Music is not a premium requirement for me. Though both the computer and stereo in the room have wonderful sound. I have no problem with the silence having grown up without ipods, mp3-players, iphones, smartphones, unmonitored T.V. etc. I know some of my students are seriously tech-dependant and must have background noise to function productively as that’s the way they’ve conditioned themselves. For me, I work better in the silence, or at most with Baroque music playing very softly in the background, as it allows me to ‘hear’ my characters more clearly and ‘listen’ to my inner muse more attentively.

I have a natural rhythm when I’m in the groove and things are good. I usually have two documents open: an outline and the manuscript. I work much better when I have an outline. Sometimes these outlines are extremely detailed, so much so that often they evolve organically into manuscripts themselves. At other times, the outline is but barebones and as I work on my manuscript, the outline builds and becomes more detailed as I add notes and make changes.

I usually set a goal for myself and my writing session: this scene, that character encounter, a set number of words or section in an outline. I write for about 30 minutes to an hour, or about 500 to 600+ words, and then seem to need a break. If I’m being honest and true, this break lasts but a few minutes: bathroom, more coffee, water or a snack, check a reference here or there. At most I might play some exercises on my bagpipe practice chanter—maybe a tune or two—while my mind is subconsciously working over a scene, character or just ‘what comes next?’, then it’s back to it for the next 30 minute/hour long session. Thus, in the summer time, on weekends or during vacation, I hammer for three to six honest hours in a series of sessions.

If I’m not careful however,—and this is where things get just plain ugly—more often than not it becomes a long break filled with email, forum checking, Internet shopping, blogging, eating in front of the T.V., skimming the pool, practicing my bagpipes, phone calls, minor writing, re-organizing files, starting the wash (which I need to do), a trip to the store, etc. When I do get back to it, I find I have “wasted” more time than I “invested” in writing. My sessions end up truncated like plants without enough sun or water and before I know it, I’ve lost a whole day. I’m grouchy and grumpy for the rest of the day.

More than once I’ve made handwritten logs of my activities during my “writing time.” If I am honest and list everything down, from bathroom to book reading, it is a dismaying exercise in self-examination. I have come to the conclusion that it isn’t the dogs; it isn’t the phone; it isn’t family; it isn’t other legitimate interests; it isn’t my profession; it isn’t my spirituality; it isn’t even the internet; it’s me. I am my own worst enemy and to make things even more ironic, I have trained myself to be so.

I joined the JulNoWriMo to see if I could instill a new habit and write not so much a novel as a decent working manuscript—I think the term ‘novel’ is used a bit too casually, but I won’t go there in this post 8-). I wanted to see if I could actually write 50k+ in a concentrated space of time and based on the experience honestly evaluate if I have the dedication required to farm and husband a manuscript into something that might be worthy of refining into a novel. I’m happy to say things are close to being on track word-count wise, but I am dismayed at the obvious weaknesses that have risen to the surface in my less than dedicated and productive routine. Fortunately, it is a conclusion I suspected all along and realize there is no magic to writing other than plain honest, and sometimes ruthlessly, hard work. If I want to produce…honestly become a published author…I need to make a serious change. Otherwise I’m no less spinning my wheels now as when I write at any other time and casually approach it. I have a deep seeded feeling that it is the lack of an honest and productive routine that separates the wannabes from the writers and ultimately the published authors.

Luckily I have 15 more days in which to write and observe, to attempt to “ruthlessly” weed out the self-distractions and instill a more sound work ethic and productive writing routine. I have to, because in mid-August school starts again and I’ll have to re-adjust the whole damn opera! :D!

P.S. That was 1003 words which might have been better spent adding to my manuscript word count! Oh, I mean 1020, er 1023—ah, oh never mind!


[Edited on 7-14-2011 by Sunwolfe]

[Edited on 7-14-2011 by Sunwolfe]




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[*] posted on 7-15-2011 at 10:22 AM


I love the idea of outlines evolving into little manuscripts. It reminds me of all the looks of confusion I got when I tried to explain to people that my 75k NaNo felt more like the very long and complicated outline of a trilogy. I always seem to end up with these strangely abbreviated epics, so that for me editing wouldn't be anything to do with cutting, but rather to do with putting in all those things that I skipped over in my rush to get it written.

Oh... my writing routine.

I usually write in 30 minute blocks, with either a 5 or 10 minute break in between. That's when I'm allowed to get drinks, have toilet breaks and do all that kind of thing. On good days, I can write 700 to 800 words in 30 minutes. This month it's been more like 400 or 500. I've just switched from full-time study to working on the family farm, so now I have I have the nice desk, the semi-private writing cave and a few hours every day when I could write without interruption. It should be awesome and I should be able to get heaps done. Maybe that's the problem...




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[*] posted on 7-18-2011 at 12:23 PM


I generally write at night, just because I work during the day. I like to be left alone when I write, but I also like having music on in the background. I have a playlist that I listen to that inspire me.

I can write a lot or very little in one sitting, depending on what scene I'm writing. I have two characters that I know inside and out. The others are trickier.
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[*] posted on 7-26-2011 at 09:36 AM
A Good Writing Day - On The Subject of Routine


With your indugence, I'm going to add to my fat post with another fat post. Those with short attention spans sould go back to writing XD.

Before I begin my writing sessions for today, I thought I’d warm-up my fingers and de-fog my 5:30 am mind with a blog-entry/note on my routine that others may find interesting or at least comparative. What follows is a somewhat typical day. I was behind where I wanted to be goal wise in the number of words written. I wanted 3k a day but was down by about 5.5k altogether. This is doable in a day for most, especially some of you amazing word factories who can really crank out the words. For me, it was a challenge because of the way I write. I am a more deliberate writer that most. I have a hard time simply writing as much as possible for volume’s sake. I can’t work that way as it’s too far beyond my comfort level for many reasons.

First, I feel that if I pay as much attention as I can to grammar, punctuation and usage while I compose, the job of revision and editing is then made that much easier. Don’t get me wrong, I am charging through, but old habits, especially the good ones, die hard and this is one I don’t want to lose.

Second, I have habit of developing background materials, my blessing or my bane either one. A thorough and complete background on a character, place, organization, culture or item makes it that much easier for me to compose. I feel I write my stories more quickly and confidently with a well developed background to support it. Now, what is ironic about this is that I’m probably writing just as many words when I pause to develop background material as I would simply powering on and later making all kinds of logic corrections and additions later on. It is also true that I am making changes as I compose that sometimes render my background material moot, but like I said, it’s all about comfort level.

Third, I do re-read and revise. I don’t do anything major, but repeated words or logic problems are like tiny burs under the saddle of my writing horse. They’re no real big deal, but they worry me nonetheless. I’ll move a sentence, or if it’s a major problem and rather prickly, I’ll simply rewrite the whole passage. I won’t erase so much as strike-out text to keep the numbers accurate. I know I’m going to have a major re-write session when I’m done with the first draft in which I start at the beginning and revise the whole shebang to catch such problems, but, like I insinuated before: a ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure in terms of time and makes my writing sessions more enjoyable.

What follows is a timeline of my day yesterday. It isn’t necessarily typical as it’s a summer writing day while on vacation and I was desperate to get my numbers back, but it is what I consider for me to be a Zen-like “good writing day.” Maybe some of you will see yourselves in it, others will realize there is no “perfect” way and still others will have their own writing routines affirmed—“I like my way better! This guy is crazy!”

05:55 – Rise a little late; start coffee; feed dogs and cats; clean cat-shit :angry:; check emails; check forums; shop Pipers’ Dojo and Acheltibuie Bagpipe specialists; grab coffee; let dogs out.

06:49 – Writing Session One: 531 words

07:31 – Coffee warm up; stretch (rather drowsy); check out Rosie O’Grady’s Highlanders site as promised

07:52 – Writing Session Two: 638 words + research on birth-defects and genetics

09:05 – Wife is up :); coffee break with her; discuss birth-defects (she is a nurse-practitioner); visit Jake Powning, sword-smith’s site for research; text exchange with my brother

09:53 – Writing Session Three: 516 words

11:05 – Early lunch; phone conversation with Lexie

11:46 – Writing Session Four: 408 words; I’m fighting the urge to take a nap

12:37 – Give up for a bit and take a reading break; make a trip to store for groceries; make smoothies; clean-up kitchen

14:09 – Writing Session Five: 1,954 words; high-five myself

17:05 – Trip to store with my wife; prep dinner; make appetizers

17:40 – Writing Session Six: 375 words

18:07 – Dinner; watch Torchwood with the wife; clean kitchen; play with the dogs; prep for bed (comfort)

20:40 – Bagpipe Practice; check emails

21:42 – Writing Session Seven: 801 words

22:40 – Crash

By the end of the day, I was seriously tiered, for as most of you know, writing is hard work, especially when you try to add “living life” to the mix. For those of you who are struggling to find time to write, doing the above, keeping an honest timeline, can make you aware of how your time is spent. You might find there's more time than you think or more places to make time.

I was still a bit down on my goal by 777 words, so today’s goal is 3777, and I’m off to see if I can have another good writing day.




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[*] posted on 7-27-2011 at 05:04 PM


My writing routine consists of writing from way early hours in the morning before anyone is up to writing throughout the afternoon. And into the midday, evening, and nighttime, with more hours to write before going to bed before daylight comes over the horizon.

Which to me the hours i write start from 6AM -10PM and then through 11PM -3AM in the morning closer to 4AM. Then i will start all over again after having a half of an hour sleep. So basically i write till i tire or exhaust myself to where i cannot write anymore and go to sleep.




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