I don’t want to toot my horn just yet (not too loudly, anyhow), but I am pleased that I seem to have settled on a writing routine that works. For the past four days (not counting Sunday), I wrote for at least an hour each morning.
This means getting up before my family at 5:45 A.M. and getting straight to work. Since I am not a morning person, this is challenging. Couple this with the fact that my family tends to keep me up late, and this is VERY challenging. However, the knowledge that the characters are waiting gets me moving after a couple of snooze-button mashes.
In this relatively short time, I’ve revised and submitted a short story to Strange Horizons. I also finished a new flash story (dream-inspired) temporarily titled “What’s That Pinging Sound?” that clocks in at just under 1K, and I’ve added over 700 words to a story seed, as yet to be titled.
At the risk of sounding trite, routine periods of isolation are the most important gifts writers can give themselves. If writing is your job, or you wish it was, you have to set aside time to do it every single day.
I have shared outside the blog (and a little here) the value I’m getting out of Stephen King’s On Writing. A few people have made disparaging remarks about the quality of King’s work, but I am not deterred because his advice is solid and honest (and his success speaks for itself). It’s not told me much that is radical and new, but it’s given me permission to do what I know I should be doing. It’s like having a mentor I can peek in on every few days, and when I do, he says “Try this,” and “What are you waiting for?”
Routine writing, every day, AT HOME, is one piece of advice he gives. Stop hiding in the library carrel or at the coffee shop with your laptop. Your work needs to be housed in your space, as a part of your life, not away somewhere else.
I am happy that I’ve given myself permission to find this groove and stick with it.