The Problem With Creating a Writing Routine

Don’t let yourself get too comfortable — or too bored.

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Ever since I moved earlier this year, I’ve desperately been trying to establish a daily routine that works. When am I going to write my blog posts? Read the many books I’m forcing myself to finish before buying new ones (sigh)? Work on my own books? Relax? Sleep?

You know all these things have to happen — you want/need them to. But when?

It’s easy to say that everyone has a prime productivity slot for every activity they want to accomplish daily. I’ve oddly discovered that working out over my lunch break during the week is much more satisfying than trying to do it at 6 a.m.

But there’s one problem with routines — figuring out when and where you’re going to work on which creative projects to keep yourself going.

Sometimes, you just get bored.

And comfortable.

And one day you decide, “I want to do something different.” So you completely break your routine just for the sake of not doing the same thing yet again …

And that completely throws you off track.

You don’t just break your workflow for a day. You break it for a week. A month. Longer?

Oops.

You don’t have to stick to same old, same old. But don’t just throw all order out the window and expect to be able to get back on track. You can break from yesterday’s schedule without completely obliterating today’s productivity.

I’m all for using the last half hour at your desk every weekday to plan how you’re going to spend tomorrow. But don’t let yourself get into the habit of groundhogging yourself into hysteria. (I’m leaving that sentence there no matter how much I hate myself for it.)

Mix things up. If you spent the last hour of your day working on your blog, plan on spending the first hour of your day doing the same thing.

On Wednesday, you could go back to Monday’s series of time blocks. Or you could completely change things up again, just to make things interesting.

Sometimes it isn’t the work itself that’s boring us. It’s the monotony of the timing of that work.

So maybe you have yet to figure out a step-by-step ordering of daily tasks that works for you. Maybe there’s just that one extra thing you can’t seem to find a comfortable place for.

That’s okay. You’re allowed to spice up your life with a little variety. As long as you have some kind of list of things you want to accomplish, and figure out how, where, and when you’re going to do them that day, you’ll probably be fine.

If you’re more of a spontaneous person … well, if that works for you, keep at it. But if you’re struggling to get done what you want to get done, at least try roughly outlining how you want your day to go. That might really help you stay on course.


Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a staff writer with The Cheat Sheet, a freelance editor and writer, and a nine-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.


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