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Quality is not an act, it’s a habit.
Building a writing routine is a great first step to consistently creating solid word counts. Everyone is different, everyone’s process is their own (and that’s a good thing), but routines can be customized specifically for you and your process, and around the challenges of your life and schedule. These habits put you in the mindset to write. Train your brain to respond, and reap the rewards.
When you read a lot of productivity books (I find them an excellent form of procrastination), you’ll hear about famous writers and their strange habits or strict practices. Those habits that might mean distraction to you, but are inspiration to their author—behaviors that kick their writing brains into gear.
Below is a list of sights, smells, or sounds that might help you on your road to Routine. Check them out, and please use the comments section to let us know your favorite writing habits. (Some are certainly healthier than others and many are mix and match-able.)
- Series or book-specific playlists that fire you up or get you in the right mood. Your brain can connect a song with the emotions of the story you’re working on, and instantly snap you into that head space or new ideas.
- Something soothing and low can act as relaxing background noise or block out interference.
- The sound of silence. Noise cancelling headphones or an insulated room can also be great for singling your mind down to task.
Drinks (some popular author favorites)
- Peppermint tea
- Diet Soda
- Ice cold Dr. Pepper
A Familiar Writing Space
- A clean desk (I always prefer a window view and hope for sunshine).
- Small tokens or muses that inspire you toward your story.
- Fanart from readers or magazine clippings/photos that put you in mind of characters and locations.
- Your notebook of ideas or a printed outline to refer quickly to without having to close the document you’re working on.
- A local café or bookshop (if you’re a people person).
- Internet blocking software (to keep your distractions at bay, and to let yourself know it’s time to get serious).
- A separate computer that is used only for writing.
- Dry roasted almonds
- Cheese cubes
- writing first thing in the morning
- after the kids go to bed
- in blocks (like nine to noon)
- setting alarms to sit down and write and actually doing it when they go of
- Some authors find success dressing the part: Shoes and pants just like any other person reporting to an office to work
- PJs and socks, because who doesn’t want to be comfy
- fresh air
- that stack of books you’ve already written that smell like victory 😉
Try a few of these out and let us know if you can create a connection.