My Writing Routine
I treat writing like a job I love and take seriously. I get up almost every morning and head out to work. I don’t write as much at home. While I can choose where to go, I need both quiet and stimulation. That is why almost every day I go to a coffee shop to write. I will admit it is rarely quiet, but I need the energy of people around me —it’s an extrovert thing. Some days the surrounding noise is too much for me, and I have to go somewhere else. Ear buds and headsets don’t help me much. I used to tell my students to be careful because I could hear an art walk across the floor. Still, the atmosphere is well worth it. I get to see familiar, friendly faces and meet new, interesting people. I can drink excellent coffees from all over the world and eat goodies I don’t have to make myself.
On top of that, when I hit a writing block, I stop and observe the people around me. Sometimes the conversation can be stimulating; other times, I imagine how a certain person might fit into my story. If I need detailed description or a new character, I look around. Oh, that’s it. The hulky man standing in line in front of me has thick black hair cut unevenly on his neck; he must not be able to afford a barber. He could easily be a villain or a struggling artist. Let me see when he turns around. If a dog shows up, I am totally distracted, but that’s a good thing. I love them. As far as the number of hours is concerned, I have a flexible plan. I work in the morning until around noon. Since writing is such a sedentary job, I plan short breaks at least every hour, sometimes more. Not only is that good for my body but also my mine, especially if I can get outside around nature. When I stop and return, I am thinking better and with new insight. Once in a while, I have to switch projects.
By midday, I am ready to stop for lunch. After this, my routine becomes looser. If I have other things that I must take care of, I may or may not write again until late afternoon or evening.
Sometimes I don’t write again at all, and I let that be okay. Creativity should be coerced, not forced. Who knows? I might wake up in the middle of the night with a great idea or problem