Sunday, June 23, 2013

Writing School In A Can: The Routine

See? A writing post! Told you I wouldn't abandon them.

Anyway, we have covered the basics of getting your story together. You've got an interesting plot which involves characters that other people would want to read about. You've got some scenes kind of sketched out, little snips or dialogue, and notes that you've scribbled on a pad or stored in your phone. Great! Now, it's time to write.

When I was younger, I had no discipline when it came to writing. I would often sit down and type furiously, trying to capture the ideas before inspiration left me. It didn't matter what time it was. Usually, I would think of something late at night, and stay up for hours on end. If this sounds familiar, you probably aren't going to like this suggestion. You have to get yourself into a routine.

I know, I know. Each of us has a million things to do every day. Life doesn't flow in a steady order that you can set you watch by. The thing is, you've got find a way to let yourself know that it's time to write. Otherwise, you'll have a list of great ideas, with none of them being developed.

I work a full time job, normally clocking out with about 50 hours a week. Like you, I have tons of other commitments that seem to eat away any bit of spare time I have left. How did I get a book written? Slowly, for one. Secondly, I set up specific times each week that I would sit down to do it.

I started by setting aside a couple of hours each day that I was off. I would get up, have some coffee, get cleaned up, and head over to a restaurant with Wi-Fi. I would work and eat lunch or breakfast at the same time. I found that being away from the distractions of my house helped to focus me immensely.

My schedule varies from week to week, so on the days that I got off early, I'd plan to write. Coffee in hand, I would normally sit at my own computer. I usually wouldn't get quite as much done those days, but every little bit helps. Remember, you don't have to complete the manuscript by a certain time. Just plug away at it until it is finished.

The most important thing about establishing a writing routine is training your brain to focus solely on the task at hand. It's as much about cutting out the world around you, as it is about getting the ideas on paper. The further you get into the meat of your book, the easier it will become to get material out. You'll be cracking out 15 pages in a couple of hours in no time.


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