Writing is something that a lot of people on Earth like to do. It is their way to express everything they feel, a way to be free in a world where you can feel trapped. Deciding to build something for your writing, whether it’s a blog, a novel, some poetry or short stories… is an important step, and some people will just go with whatever comes to mind and think about structuring all this later. I used to be like that when I was a teenager. But it is my belief that the more your writing mature, the more you will have the need to structure the way you write, to be more efficient and manage to complete your projects.
First of all, find your “inspirational slot”. To put it simply, it’s the time of the day where you will be able to write, even if you’re not inspired. To define this slot, you have to listen to yourself and notice the moments during the day where you have more ideas and/or more energy. For some people, it might be energy peaks where they can do whatever they want, any kind of activity, and be productive. For other people like me, there’s a period where I will have more ideas that is perfect for writing, and then other periods where I can be productive but for work for example (I’m not saying writing is not work, I only meant my other professional activities ~).
If you have no idea when this “inspirational slot” is for you, do not worry. There’s a simple exercise to do in order to figure it out. Just focus on yourself, let your mind open during the day (or night), and always keep a way to take notes with you, whether it’s a little notebook or an app on your smartphone (I personally use WriterP, very happy with it) and whenever you have a thought that sounds nice, an idea for a story, a feeling you want to express or even just when you hear something that inspires you… Write it down. Write it all down with the time next to it, and after a few days (maybe try it during the weekends when your mind is not so focused on work ?) you will see a pattern. You will see when you have more ideas, either in the mornings or in the evenings, or maybe during the night, and with this you will be able to define your “inspirational slot”. It will be the moment in your day where, when you sit and write, even without initial inspiration, you will be able to write something.
The second step is to create a good environment. Once you have your slot for writing, it’s time to take care of what will be around you during that time. What do you prefer, silence, background music, tv, or are you okay with a noisy background ? Do you prefer to sit at your desk, at the kitchen table, or stay cosy in your bed ? Will you need coffee, tea, snacks with you ? You can try several combinations and see what are the perfect parameters for you to feel at ease to focus on your writing. Of course, leave unnecessary distractions such as your phone on the side while doing so. I know that it’s not always easy to create your perfect environment, especially if you’re not living alone, but just try to gather as many good things as possible and I assure you it will help you a lot. Focus is key in order to write a lot !
Once you’ve got your perfect timing and environment, it’s time to get used to it ! You have to get used to write at that time and at that place, maybe not everyday, but regularly. I see a lot of people saying that you need to write everyday, but I know that in real life not everyone can afford to be a full-time (aspiring) author. So don’t listen to all of that. Be serious about your writing projects, but don’t pressure you into writing absolutely everyday. All you need to do is get into the habit of writing on a regular basis, whether it’s 3, 4 or 5 times a week is up to you. Personally, I also think that having days where you don’t write can boost your creativity. The point here is just to write, no strings attached, no objectives yet, you’re just creating the habit and that’s the biggest step. Most people lack consistency and that’s where their writing routine fail… because it’s no longer a routine if you just write once or twice a month.
The fourth step would be to find yourself some cheerleaders, or join writing communities. Writing is a lonely job, it is very rewarding but at times, especially when you doubt yourself, you will need to speak to people about what you are doing. It will help you to keep going. Don’t be afraid to tell your close friends or family if you’re comfortable with them, about your writing. You might be surprised to find that some will be interested in reading what you’re doing. And if you have no one around you, don’t hesitate to join groups on Facebook for example, people are pretty friendly there and they will be happy to help if you have questions or worries. There are writing communities on any social platform so just go for it !
And finally the last step of designing your own writing routine is to set achievable goals. There’s nothing worse than having your routine all ready and then setting goals that you can’t achieve. It will make you feel disappointed in yourself, and you will give up easily. Start with small objectives, and as you get comfortable completing them for a while, you will be able to make them evolve, little by little, and before you know it, your project will be complete. For example, when I started writing my poetry book, it was after a tough period where I had completely stopped writing, so I started very very small, only a few words a day. Then the few words became small poems, and after a few months I was writing several poems a day. It might seem small and ridiculous to you at the beginning, but trust the snowball effect, it works.
I hope this article was useful to you. You can also find on my Youtube channel a video on the subject, I will put the link below (I usually post the video first, and then a more detailed article here). Feel free to share in the comments what is your writing routine, I’m always curious to know how my fellow writers’ minds work.
Thank you for reading, see you in the next article ~