How To Create A Writing Routine That Suits Your Needs

How are you doing with your writing routine? 

For some people, a writing routine means writing first thing in the morning every day. For others, it’s at night. For some, it’s even waking up at 4 am to carve out that time. 

I am not any of those writers. I’ve tried to be. Writing at night helps me when I’m having trouble sleeping or feeling big feelings, but in general I’m too tired at night to think straight. I like the idea of waking up at 4 am to get writing done before the sun is awake, but because I don’t sleep well usually, the 4 am wake-up call is not in the cards for me. 

So when do I write? Lately, it has been a struggle to write at all (hello imposter syndrome, you big ugly jerk), but I’m working on my mental health and working on my sleep. So, my routine kind of looks like this:

Wake up, Coffee, Read. 

Then Journal. Then Write. Then Lunch.

In the afternoon, I take a long break after lunch to recharge and then I try to dive in to my business side of things, organizing my writing sprints, working with clients, etc. 

The other thing I work with? Flexibility. I can’t always get the writing done in the time I’ve allotted for it, so instead I PIVOT a la Ross Gellar. If I have a thought on the top of my mind related to coaching, I’ll knock that out first and then write. And so forth. 

If you have a 9-5 or a job that doesn’t allow for you to be flexible with your time during your work week, plan to do bigger chunks of writing on the weekends when you have more time to breathe and instead do little mini writing exercises during the week…a 10 minute session to a random writing prompt (email me for some, I love making them up!) to spark ideas for a new character or scene, or make a list of all the obstacles one of your B-characters might face that would trigger action for your main character. 

What I’m trying to say here is, you can set a routine, and you can re-set it as many times as you need to help you accomplish your goals. For example, when I was actively writing my first draft, I wrote every single day Monday – Friday (with some missed days, and with some weekend days included) because my goal was to finish the draft by a certain time. Now, I’m working on revising my manuscript while I also build up my writing coaching business, and it has gotten harder to also include “new work” writing time. So I write new things maybe once a week. 

With each new season comes a new set of needs. Figure out what your writing needs are for this season, and focus on that. Create a routine around your writing needs.