By now, you have your writing routine down (when you stick to it, that is).
You know — or at least think you know — when you’re at your best or most creative. Your most productive writing days and times work … usually. So you see no reason to break from your Saturday morning or Wednesday evening or Monday mid-afternoon routine.
Except … you’re starting to really question whether or not it’s actually working for you.
You’re starting to dread your writing time. Not because you don’t want to write or because you’re bored with your current project, but because you’ve been following the same schedule for too long. And it’s starting to negatively effect your ability to get your work done.
There’s nothing wrong with routines. In fact, one of the first things I recommend to new writers is establishing a writing routine they can stick to in the beginning.
The thing is, with growth comes with change. As you learn more as a writer and as a human, as you go through changes in your personal and professional lives, the routines you set a year, even a week ago don’t always continue to fit.
Sometimes, change is good. Sometimes, a simple shift in your routine can change everything.
Whether you’ve been feeling unmotivated, exhausted, stuck, or some frustrating combination of multiple writing roadblocks, even such a small change can completely clear those blockages and get you writing what you want to write again — when and where you want to.
I loved my old routine. It meant I had a new blog post written every weekday before I signed into work at 8am. It meant I didn’t have to finish off a long day of writing with another 500-800 words. It meant that I was done “adulting” by five.
But I realized quickly that I couldn’t keep that up. As much as I loved that feeling of having these posts “finished” first thing in the morning, I felt like I was rushing through them, that they weren’t my best work, and that I was going to wear myself down trying to make it work when it didn’t have to stay the way it was.
So I switched to writing the majority of my daily posts on Saturdays, in bulk. I found I loved that, too — but more importantly, it gave me the time to write better content and take my time. I lost some of my Saturday Netflix time, but trust me, I don’t actually miss it all that much.
At some point, I’m sure my routine will change again. I’ll want, or need, my Saturday afternoons back.
But that’s OK. Change keeps things exciting. Staying on your toes means you’re aware of the fact that you could be doing better. Different is not as scary or damaging as you might think it is.
If you’re tired of your routine, if it’s no longer working for you, don’t give up on writing completely. Just change up the day, the time, the place. You might end up working on the same projects, and it might feel like not much has changed. But who knows? It might light that spark that went out inside of you awhile ago. You’ll never know until you give it a try.
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 10-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.