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7 Revolutionary Hacks to Transform Your Writing Routine

I’ve met so many would-be writers who would love to form a writing routine but either keep putting it off or start and then stop. Trust me, no matter where you want it to go, if you enjoy writing.. life is better when you write! Finding a routine looks different to each of us. In this blog I offer some great tips on how to craft the perfect writing routine that works for you. 

If you enjoy this post and are forming your own writing routine, please comment on Instagram or Facebook, I’d love to hear from you. 

1. Decide What Time of Day and For How Long

Your writing routine needs to be sustainable, otherwise you won’t keep it up. I’m a morning writer. A 5amer, to be precise. But for some writers their best inspiration comes at night time. Think of when you feel most inspired but also take into account what’s going on in your life at those times. 5 am works for me, because later in the morning there are other responsibilities I need to tend to. And noise and distractions.

Getting up earlier also allowed that time to write. And because I write early and for a short time, just 25 minutes a day, I can always fit it in, even if I’m away. That’s another thing, decide what days you’d like to write. Once a week? Every day? I love to write daily as it keeps a sense of momentum, and because my writing goals are better aligned with writing every day. For some writers, the idea of writing for 25 minutes is unthinkable, and a much longer stint might be called for and on less days. What do you see working best for you? 

2. Silence Your Phone and Don’t Check Emails or Messages

If you need to research something online, try, if you can to arrange this outside of your writing time. This is so you don’t fall down any rabbitholes and waste your valuable writing time. Sometimes it’s essential to look something up – I get it. But if you can work without internet as much as possible, you’ll be more productive.

I love Mel Robbins idea of not checking her phone at all until her to-do’s are all complete. If you’re a morning writer, avoid checking social media and emails before you write. Your mind will be sharper and more focused on what you want to focus it on, instead of everyone else’s business, which is where social media often takes us. Having your phone on silent will avoid the temptation to check it, if that’s possible for you. 

3. Use a Timer Rather Than Word Count to Work To

Word count goals can be great on a longer term basis rather than per session. For example, if you’re writing a novel you might like to set a word count goal for the month. This allows for days when your writing doesn’t flow as fast, and it keeps you in the game. Another day, you might be flowing very well and write more. 

I use a 25 minute timer, and if I’m editing, I sometimes do a few sessions if I can fit them in. But once I’ve showed up to do one, I’m happy. This is inspired, but not the same as, the Pomodoro technique. Where you take a five minute break after the twenty five minutes and then do another session, and so on. 

4. Know That There’s Good Days and Bad Days – Clouds

Once you showed up, you won. No matter how badly the session might have gone. If you feel bad about your writing all of a sudden, try not to worry or just stop. It’s likely it will pass. Look outside and see if you can see a cloud. If you were to look again in an hour, would the cloud be the same? How we feel about our writing is a bit like clouds. 

I can swing from one day really enjoying my work to the next thinking it’s awful and I’ll never succeed. I’ve learned to accept those discouraging feelings and not let them spoil everything or put me off. On those days, I might try something a little different. Like looking at plotting. Or brainstorming ideas. Don’t allow a bad day to sabotage your writing routine. It could be totally different tomorrow. 

5. Set Goals, Short Term and Long Term, and Review Them Regularly

Goals help us to see what we’re working towards. Perhaps your aim is simply to write regularly for fun. In that case, your goal could be simply that: to write regularly. In that case, decide how regularly, and how you will know when you are doing this.

If your goals are more professionally geared, think of the different stages ahead. What would you like to have achieved in a week, a month, a year from now? Allow yourself to dream and then create goals from there. If your goals aren’t being achieved, you might have been reaching too high. Don’t give up, simply review your goals. It’s a working progress and you won’t know until you try.

6. Read Lots. Replace Screen Time with Books as Much as Possible

What we read is compost for the healthy growth of our writing. Read widely, making sure to include what you love. And if a book is dragging too much, stop reading it and choose another. Life is too short to get tied up trying to finish books you don’t love. When we’re on screens, we’re still getting compost of sorts. But it’s in a much more passive way.

When you watch a movie, for example, you are provided with the images, whereas when you read (unless it’s graphic) you have to make your own. It also helps you to find out what style of writing you love. Not so you’ll copy it, but you’ll be inspired by it. 

7. If You’re Sending Out Work and It’s Not Getting Accepted, Huge Congrats. Keep Going!!!

You’ve heard it before, but I’ll say it again, the best writers have been knocked down many times and they succeeded because they keep getting up. We’re often sold the idea of these overnight successes, but I don’t buy them. Most successful writers have gotten thick skinned and used to hearing no a thousand times.

There are a zillion reasons why your work could get rejected:

  1. You lack experience and need to practice your writing more – keep going. Attend writing classes, read more, seek helpful feedback. 
  2. Your work is brilliant but the judges/publisher/agent has different taste to you or doesn’t ‘get’ your writing. 
  3. Your work simply wasn’t what they’re looking for or might not be what’s currently in vogue – it’s really hard to follow trends and because everything is so slow in the publishing world it’s barely worth following them, imo. Write what you love. 

 

I’ll not mention them here, but if you want to make yourself feel better by hearing about how very famous authors suffered from rejection, look up Herman Melville, Beatrix Potter, Stephen King, George Orwell, Agatha Christie and, of course, J K Rowling. As my fab Aussie writing teacher, Diana Connell says, ‘writing’s not for sissies!

 

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A post shared by Eleyna Meir (@eleynawrites)

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