As school starts back up again, I can get back into my daily routine. It’s important to have a routine for writing, a block of time you can write daily or as close to daily as possible. As much as I blather on about writing as much as you can, whenever you can, it’s easier to get into a writing mindset if you follow a routine over and over. You set your body and mind into a pattern. After awhile, it becomes habit and your body begins to recognize “Oh hey, now I’m going to do some writing,” and BOOM! You’re off to the races.
It’s important, when you set a time for writing, that you don’t let yourself get distracted. Set a time and do one thing, Write. If you need to do other things, set yourself a time limit of 5-10 minutes for social media, emails, etc. When the timer goes off, get to writing.
Here’s my routine, now that I’m getting back into it. I’ve been working summer jobs and taking vacations so my routine was thrown off for awhile. Now I’m back to it, Monday – Friday.
5 AM : WAKE-UP
I wake up at 5 am. Through the mind-fogs of sleep, I stumble out of the bedroom and into the world of the rest of my apartment.
5:00 to 5:15 AM : MEDITATE
I meditate for 5-10 minutes. Meditation is all kinds of awesome. It calms your body, it relaxes you, it decreases stress, it improves willpower and health and well-being. I use the Meditation Helper App if I’m doing unguided, and if I’m doing guided, I google “Guided Mindfulness Meditation.” Mindfulness is simply a type of meditation where you focus on nothing except your body and your breathing.
5:15 – 5:30/5:45 AM : EXERCISE
I do some form of exercise for 15-30 minutes. Sometimes it’s as simple as a few push-ups and sit-ups and other times it’s following workout videos on the television. It’s important to get the body moving. This includes stretching.
5:30/5:45 – 6:00/6:20 : WRITE
For the next 30-45 minutes (sometimes longer), after I finally pour myself a cup of coffee, I write. I get on my chrome book and type words on the screen. I don’t check facebook or twitter or tumblr. I don’t check this blog to see whose looked at it or whose commented. I write. This is the precious time I have to get my thoughts down, to create. If you have difficulty focusing, there are multiple apps and tools you can find online for blocking your internet or certain sites for a certain amount of time. Distractions kill your focus, your concentration, your flow. The questions of “Who wrote on my wall? What did my friends do yesterday? Did anyone tweet me? What’s going on in the world?” can all wait until you finish writing. Write first, ask and find the answers to those questions later.
6:30 – ? : AFTER
From then on, it’s business as usual. My fiance is up at this point and showered. We talk, we eat breakfast, make ourselves lunches. I ready myself mentally and physically for the day. I put on pants at some point. Pants are important. I go to work, yadda yadda, you get the picture. I generally don’t write after that. After work, I’m too exhausted mentally, from working with students and trying to get every last bit of success out of them as possible. That’s why I do my writing in the morning, when I’m feeling fresh, before my creative well has been used up.
This is my routine and it’s successful in getting me to write every weekday. If you’re a writer, or fellow creator in some way, what’s your routine? What’s your process? How do you get yourself into the creative mindset to perform? It might be important to think about, because it’s likely something we can all improve on.