Despite what you may have heard, there is more than one way to do almost anything. People who believe strongly in one way will foam at the mouth and insist that their way is the only way. After you give them a little napkin for their foam, please reassure them that there is more than one way to (Fill in the Blank).
As a writer, developing a writing process is one of those things that can be done many different ways. Should you write every day? Should you use a computer? Should you outline? Are writing prompts useful? There are endless questions that one can ask about one’s writing habits. Mulling over these things for too long will only keep you from writing (I see you procrastinating. No, really, I see you. Get to work!)
The only thing that really makes sense is to try everything. Try writing every day. If it doesn’t work for you, try writing only on the weekends. Try setting page goals. Try setting time goals. Use the computer. Use a notebook. Use sticky notes, if it helps. Only through knowing yourself, and engaging in trial and error, will you find a process that works for you.
Here’s what works for me:
I write every day. I get up around 6:30 a.m. and meditate for 10-15 minutes. Then I make coffee and read a novel. After reading the novel for the time it takes to finish my coffee, I read some kind of writing instruction book, but only if the book truly motivates me. If it’s a pain in my behind, I choose another book, or watch a YouTube video on writing. Then I do a little free-writing to drain my mind of drivel, inner-conflict, useless facts, and more drivel. After that, I eat a quick breakfast while I listen to a podcast on writing, or while I read a little more of the novel. Once I finish, I usually have a solid hour or two to write.
Yes, I could just jump in and start writing, but I’ve learned that all that other stuff makes me write better and faster. Once I’ve done it, I feel great. If I’m on a roll, I keep writing. But I usually put it away and get ready for the gym. After I work out, I shower, eat, and get ready for work, which starts at 1p.m. I work straight through until 8 p.m. after which I’m exhausted. Sometimes, if I get little breaks, I’ll sneak in some more reading or writing. At the end of the day, all I have the energy to do is talk to my boyfriend and go to bed.
Then I get up the next day and do it all again.
My writing schedule works for me because I have factored in all the other things in my life I need to do. This also works with my personality because I’m a morning person. Everyone has to play around to figure out what works best for them.
Peace and love,