I love doing surveys. Ticking the boxes gives me such a sense of satisfaction that I rarely can resist, so when mslexia sent an online survey about writers’ routines I simply had to stop what I was doing and fill it in.
It didn’t take me long. I am after all a creature of habit. Sometimes this is good, sometimes no so good. It can make me efficient, on the other hand it is easy to slip into the familiar pattern and end up being bored. Boredom is not productive and does tend to sap creativity.
On the other hand, having to write a set number of words a day is making a huge difference to the way I write and the speed at which I am getting through the first draft of my final book in the “Clear Gold” trilogy.
Every day, come what may I write either 500 or 1,000 words. The amount is variable to allow for life, which has a habit of not conforming to my routine. Even when things don’t work out the way I’d planned it is always possible to jot down 500 words. They may be rubbish but at least they are there, ready to be edited at a later date.
Ideally I write in the morning, after breakfast.
First however, I have to look at my emails and glance at Facebook and Twitter. I used to be very disciplined about not checking social media until the writing was done, until I realized I’d missed important a number of important email. Not pictures of people’s cats but changes of arrangements, or meetings being cancelled.
Once that is out of the way. I write. Sometimes the words flow and it’s effortless. At others it’s like sweating blood, but it has to be done and when it is, then there is time for coffee. Or lunch, depending how long it took.
After that I can do the social media stuff, think of new stories, or do anything else I choose.
That at least is how it’s supposed to be what actually happens…