It is important to have a writing routine, otherwise you can lose your focus. For example, if you write one scene and then the next one a week later, you can’t remember everything the same way. But if you have a writing routine, you can keep up with your project.
But if you’re like me, you write your novel while working full-time on the side. It’s hard to find time to write besides work, hobby and other commitments. That’s why I have 6 tips on how you can develop a writing routine. Depending on the type, not all tips will help you, but there is definitely something suitable for you!
1. Find your creative time
Every person has a different time of day when they are most productive. If you are not aware of this time, sit down in front of your laptop for a week at a different time every day to write. You will quickly notice when writing is easy and when it is more like torture.
For me the perfect writing time is always in the morning – preferably as early as possible. At noon my creativity fades away, increases a little in the afternoon, and in the evening I’m of no use for anything but correction work.
2. Set fix writing times
Now that you know when of the day you are most creative, you need a fixed time to write. This can be 15 minutes or 2 hours – the important thing is that you can stick to your time. So make sure that it fits into your everyday life.
Since the creative time for me is in the morning, I write every morning from 5:30 to 6:00 a.m. before I go to work. On weekends, however, it’s too early for me, so I always plan to write for at least half an hour as soon as I’m awake.
3. Write daily
Now the third point: try to write daily. That way you stay on track and have your story always present. Of course there are also days when you just don’t have time to write or don’t feel like writing. But you shouldn’t get into the habit of finding an excuse every other day. Sometimes you just have to force yourself, even if you don’t get too much out of it. The main thing is to write and take your time for it.
4. Don’t be too much of a perfectionist
Your first draft will not be your finished book. During the writing process, not every sentence has to be equally perfect. If you spend too much time on a sentence, you won’t get anywhere and you won’t see any progress. You’ll get angry quickly, lose interest in writing and sweep your writing routine under the table. So you need to keep your motivation up and the best way to do that is to see progress – 5’000 words, 10’000 words, 20’000 words, etc.
5. Set goals
If you’re good at meeting self-imposed goals, this is a great tip for staying on track and getting the most out of your writing routine. If you want to write 50 pages by the end of the month, you need to write daily to achieve this, in addition to all your other commitments. But choose only realistic goals, otherwise this point can quickly go in the opposite direction. So first find out how fast you write and how much time you have before setting goals.
6. Treat yourself
Goals and milestones should always be rewarded. So when you have written the first 10’000 words, be proud of yourself and reward and celebrate yourself. Then continue writing and reward yourself again at 50,000 words or whenever you feel you have reached an important milestone. This increases your motivation and makes it easier to follow your writing routine.
I am sure there are many more tips. But these six have really helped me a lot myself. I hope you can benefit from them as well.