August 16 Blog

 In Poetry

To Write With a Regular Routine or To Not Write With a Regular Routine? That is the Question!

I recently conducted a survey on social media on writing routines; asking the question: do you have a regular writing routine on both Twitter and Facebook. The result? Only a tiny fraction of those who answered ticked the box marked yes! The rest replied with an emphatic no! and why would I?  

So what are the advantages of having a regular writing routine? and why do most people not have one?

What is a regular writing routine?

Robert Boice, author of How Writers Journey to Comfort and Fluency: A Psychological Adventure, describes a regular writing routine as “brief, daily sessions’. In short it is the regular act of putting pen to paper every day for anything from 5 minutes upwards.

Why Should I have a Regular Writing Routine?

Any good sports person will tell you about the importance of regularly practicing their sport and building up their muscles, and you would nod your head and believe them. So why is writing creatively and being creative any different? It isn’t is the answer. Well, at least it shouldn’t be.

The website Inside Higher Ed explains this concept well when they say that  Eviatar Zerubavel (author of The Clockwork Muse) adheres to the concept of being “motivated by a “clockwork” muse rather than a “capricious” muse.”

INTERVIEWER

Could you say something of this process? When do you work? Do you keep to a strict schedule?

HEMINGWAY

“When I am working on a book or a story I write every morning as soon after first light as possible. There is no one to disturb you and it is cool or cold and you come to your work and warm as you write. You read what you have written and, as you always stop when you know what is going to happen next, you go on from there. You write until you come to a place where you still have your juice and know what will happen next and you stop and try to live through until the next day when you hit it again. You have started at six in the morning, say, and may go on until noon or be through before that. When you stop you are as empty, and at the same time never empty but filling, as when you have made love to someone you love. Nothing can hurt you, nothing can happen, nothing means anything until the next day when you do it again. It is the wait until the next day that is hard to get through.”

What does this mean?

It means that the idea that you have to stand around waiting for the muse to strike is a myth and no more than that. You can summon the muse, yes, but you have to practice calling it! Otherwise it won’t come.

michael jordan

Why do most people not have a regular writing routine?

More out of curiosity than anything else I asked Google the above question.

Before I asked the very knowledgeable Google I suspected that given the opportunity to answer this question most people would say life was to blame. That they had too many things to do, things got in the way and they didn’t have the space to write regularly (head space or physical space). Good came back with a deafening silence on the subject.

So when is too late to start one?

Never!

So what is stopping you?

I’m sorry you forgot to mention how I can …

1-Set your alarm five minutes or so earlier than usual

2-Get up, grab your pen or laptop and write!

3- Repeat every day

 

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