On Not Having a Writing Routine

Right now, I’m lucky if I sit down once a week to work on fiction. I typically snag an hour or two of writing time on Thursday night depending on when I’m scheduled to work Friday morning. But then I’m constantly battling distractions like the television, family and dogs, and the internet, and I usually only get a few hundred words on the page.

This isn’t the most efficient way to write. I’ve been working on the same novelette project since the beginning of January, which theoretically should have been finished by the end of February.

What I need is a regular writing routine, where I sit down at a certain time each night and focus on writing for an hour. It worked during my senior year of college when I decided to stop waiting for time to write. Sure it was tough the first couple of sessions as I trained my brain and the muse to work on-demand. But after that, the words flowed. I regularly produced a thousand words each session.

I’d very much like to get back to that kind of a routine. However my current schedule is too variable for me to commit to writing every night at say 7 PM. Between my job in retail, my regular freelance writing deadlines, and being on-call to cover town government meetings twice a week, one day looks nothing like the next. And sometimes I don’t even know how a day is going to unfold until it’s already here.

This isn’t how my life is going to be forever. In fact, I only a have a few more months of this particular weird-as-butt schedule until I trade it for a new one when I move to North Carolina. So I’m just going to keep plugging away, stealing an hour whenever I can to sit down at the computer and write. And I’ll be daydreaming of a regular schedule that lends itself to a writing routine.


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