Author Jeff Abbott posted this excellent link to a site called Daily Routines.
Reading the different routines of famous authors made me wonder what routine and rituals I have.
Toni Morrison writes with a pencil and requires a transition period from her daily life to her writing life.
This struck a chord with me. My best writing has come from those times I’ve written directly onto an examination pad with a soft lead pencil.
My transition period consists of two things. I start my writing day by typing up what I wrote the previous day. I do some editing. I have a short break and make a cup of chamomile tea. Then it’s back to writing and my second ritual. I sharpen all my pencils; then I line them up one by one, from the shortest to the longest. My writing time has begun.
I’ve discovered I’m a slow starter, both in my daily writing quota and in writing the whole novel. I cough and choke and limp my way along until I hit “the zone” and then I’m away. It’s as if my creative brain needs lubrication to get into the right gear.
The one thing I constantly struggle with is time management. I’m at my best in the morning, but sometimes life gets in the way and I’ve had to learn to be flexible. Instead of saying to myself, “You will write from 05h00 to 06h30. Every day!” I set a looser target. What works for me is to commit to writing an hour a day or four (handwritten) pages a day or more. That way I can cope with the demands of everyday living and still write.
The key is to write something every day! If I miss even one day, I lag behind. But when I’ve written every day for a few weeks, I hit my stride and my pencils get shorter and shorter…