Having a daily writing routine is good. Every writer has their own writing routine. Mine is to start with a half hour to an hour of free writing in my journal. I sit in my living room, my laptop in my lap and write about nothing at all or describe the weather, or whatever. It wakes up my writing brain, which is important. At this stage in my day, the text doesn’t matter. It’s waking the writing brain and stimulating it that is the goal. I just sit and jot down ideas or contemplate things that go on my life. Sometimes I comment on items from TV or books I’m reading. Sometimes I explore scenes from my current work or develop characters or do other background work. I do almost all of my background work in my journal, copying and pasting to other files as needed.
After a half hour or an hour, I turn to the current work I’m doing. This is the point where the text starts to matter. An hour after that, I take a break or go to work on my day job. I come back to the story after a few minutes, assuming it’s not a workday. I’ll do another hour’s work on the story. Then I log my word count and move on to the revision work.
There’s always revision work to do. I never turn anything out that doesn’t need some sort of revision. I add a word or two there, cut a word or two there. Sometimes I start over completely. I take my time with revision. Hurrying through it won’t make the end result better, only less bad than the original draft. I try to spend an hour or two reading my own work and revising it where it needs work.
After that, if I have a piece ready for publication or submission, I format it accordingly. Formatting your work is important. The correct format will ensure that your work is easy to read and clear. Often using the right formatting is the difference between getting an agent or publisher to read the work and being rejected without being read at all. If you aspire to publication, know what the right format is and use it.
That’s pretty much my routine. Simple and easy, it allows me to work on multiple projects at one time. Free write, followed by focused writing, followed by revision, followed by formatting, which after all is the natural progression of a piece of writing. That’s my routine. Yours may be different. Use what works for you. Don’t forget to shake it up. I don’t always do my routine in the same order, except for starting with free writing. It may seem overly complicated, but it works for me and that’s what is important. Do what works best for you.
Leave a Reply