Sticking to It

Developing a rigorous writing routine.


For those of us with day jobs, finding the time to write can be difficult. On our busiest days, we’re lucky if we get a few sentences down. Still, that’s better than not producing any work at all. But the question is: How does one write when faced with a barrage of other tasks? I hope the insight and tips I offer here will help.

It’s best to write every day. Getting into this habit will improve both the quality and quantity of your prose. My mornings begin with some sort of writing exercise. If I’m not working on my novel, I’m either revising or proofreading something else. At other times, I will do a scene outline or take notes from research materials. These activities allow me to think clearly and result in a more productive day.

If I don’t write on a daily basis, I feel as though something is missing from my life. So it’s essential that I take the time, even if only five or 10 minutes, to put my thoughts on paper. I used to think I had to be in front of a computer to write, but in recent years, I’ve learned to adapt out of sheer necessity. I carry a pen and paper with me, so when I feel inspired, I can write wherever I choose. 

If you prefer going the tech route, there are all sorts of apps that make writing on the go possible. There are also programs that allow computers and devices to sync up, making accessing and modifying files a lot easier.

Whichever way you choose isn’t as important as the fact that you make writing a part of your routine each day. Think of it as a personal indulgence. Those precious minutes should be yours. They are as meaningful as the stories themselves.

If you’re working on something as demanding as a book, you’ll find yourself getting ideas when you aren’t writing. Since you’ve already included writing in your schedule for the day, your mind is clear. Suppose you have been experiencing trouble figuring out how to fix a plot problem in that novel you’ve been toiling away at for months. If you continue writing regularly, you should be able to resolve this glitch. Your story might even end up going in an entirely different direction than when you began it. That is the fun of being a writer, and you’ll enjoy it more as you proceed.

Above all, though, stay motivated. This can be hard to do, especially if you’ve devoted all your time and effort into a project that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. However, with discipline, your dream will come together. So write and have fun. It is a magical road only you can travel.

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