To Routine, Or Not To Routine

Sure! Why not? I have my own routine. I wake up every morning, make a cup of coffee, sit outside (depending on the weather), and read my writing genre book. Then I either take the boys to school with my significant other and head to the mountain for a hike, or we head straight to the mountain. Either way, I get in some exercise. It’s important for healthy brain activity, which is a bit of a necessity for writing a book. An unhealthy body leads to unhealthy brain activity. You can even test my hypothesis by getting sick and then trying to write, compared to writing when you’re healthy. You don’t have to act like you’re preparing for a decathlon, but get some sort of daily exercise, if for no other reason than that you don’t pull a Robert Jordan.

Some people work well with routines. Some people don’t. I listened to Stephen King’s autobiography (the first half is his life story, the second half is his advice for writing, and well worth the read/listen for any upcoming writer), and he said that when he writes, he goes into a small room in his basement, blasts Metallica or ACDC, and doesn’t come out until he has a rough draft. I like writing at coffee shops or bars. The people watching provides me with enough gentle distraction to let my mind work through scenes, and as long as no one bothers me the noise is too chaotic to be distracting. I find that people generally leave you alone when you’re working on a laptop in public.

The key is to find out what works for you. I like being able to write anywhere, at any time. Because most of the time I’m not in front of my computer screen when an idea pops in my head. For me, being able to work on my book from my phone is just as important as being able to work on it from my laptop or desktop, and having it sync across all devices is essential. I couldn’t sit in a basement all day and pump out a rough draft like Mr. King. A cabin in the woods where I can take walks is more my style. You have to find yours.