Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Routine Works For Some, Not For Others


We're staying with our two youngest grandchildren for a few days while their parents are basking on a beach in Jamaica enjoying a well-earned vacation. My daughter leaves lots of info for us when we are in charge of her 7 and 10 year old. We try to stay with the routine they have established but sometimes veer off to the left or right. I also forget sometimes the frequent reminders kids of this age need. 

As writers, many of us have a set routine. Being a creature of habit, I definitely do. Unless I have an early morning appointment, I read the newspaper, fix breakfast for my husband and me, then bring my coffee into the office. I check e-mail first, often answer many and leave the others til later. Then I check in at facebook to see what's going on and also to get inspiration for my blog post. I often have no clue what I'm going to write about until something on facebook hits me smack in the face. After finding out what my friends are up to on that addictive social media site, I write my blog post for the day. Then post it and put links to it at several places. That's the routine. What happens next can vary.

The rest of my writing and critiquing is done in bits and pieces during the remainder of the day and evening. Because I'm a hobbyist writer, I don't have to keep my bottom on the chair for the better part of the day tapping the keyboard and hoping sensible words result. When I have time between housework or meetings, lunches with friends, bridge groups and grocery shopping, I am at my computer working on a story or helping a friend with one. It's another kind of a routine. Might be called the In and Out Routine.

When you do things in a routine way, I think you are more productive on a regular basis. There are probably many writers who write in bursts of creativity and energy--whenever they happen to strike. It could be 3 a.m. or 10 a.m. If that works for them, then so be it. 

For me, having a routine feels comfortable. It's the same when we're staying with the grandkids. Keeping to the given routine is a security thing for them. Grandma makes me do the same things Mom does and that feels good.

How about you? Do you work better when you follow a routine or when you wait for inspiration to hit? Can you figure out the reason for the way you feel? 

For me, it's the fact that I'm an organized person. I like following a pattern. I like things done in an orderly way. We're all different, however. What works for me might not be your cup of tea at all. In the end, it doesn't matter how you get your writing accomplished. The big thing is that you do it!

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