Getting Back into the Groove of Our Fall Routine
By: Loni Cameron
Summer has wound down. There are no more barbecues or pool parties coming up. No more picnics and camping. We’re getting ready for school to start. Which means re-established routines, or maybe new routines. Life will be returning to its regularly scheduled program. It sounds sad, but it’s not all bad. With the coming of more stable schedules means more time for writing! Here are a few tips to help get you back into your writing routine.
- Read something – It’s the easiest thing you can do. Whether a novel, poem or article, read something you can connect with, something inspirational, something imaginative.
- Warm up – Many writers refer to them as Morning Pages, but that doesn’t mean you have to do them in the morning. Whenever your writing time is, start with your warm up. Just 10 minutes from a prompt or whatever is in your head. By the time you’re done, the creative juices will be flowing.
- Stick to your schedule – Whether you’re married with children, responsible for a demanding job, or both, schedules are part of your life. Make sure you are making time for writing. Put it in your schedule. That way when someone asks if you’re busy tonight, you can look at your calendar, and easily say, Yes! Your writing deserves the same respect everything else does in your schedule.
- You don’t need to write everyday – I know there are some writers who say they have to write every day. If that works for them, great! But when you make your schedule, and you find that you can’t write on Thursdays, that’s fine. Don’t write on Thursdays (or whatever day it is for you). Just stick to the schedule and acknowledge that this is going to happen. Tweak your schedule to what works. If you have to skip one day – it’s ok.
- No Distractions! – When your scheduled time comes up: turn off the television, ignore the social media, and shut the door. Don’t worry about that load of laundry, the vacuuming, or whatever else is on your to-do list. It will all wait. This is your time. Give your writing the respect and focus it deserves.
- No Guilt! – Yes, you may not have met your summer writing goals. Summer is busy, full of surprise pool parties, amusement parks and other out of the blue distractions. Sometimes, there are things you just can’t say no to. The warm weather only lasts so long. And now you’re not almost done your manuscript. That’s fine. The important thing is that you are writing again, NOW, and you make progress NOW on that manuscript.
- Just keep writing – As you get back into the groove, you may find yourself overly critical of your work. Don’t worry about it. Edit it later. Write and just keep writing.
- Remember why you want to write – Make a list if you have to. Remember the feeling it gives you. Remember all the stories in your head that you just have to get down. Remember that writing makes you happy.
- Treat yourself to a new notebook – I know a lot of us write on a computer, but there is still something special about putting pen to paper and cracking open a new notebook, watching your ideas flourish there. It’s a new season, so why not have a new notebook. Hey – think about new notebooks as Christmas/birthday gift hints for yourself.
- Be patient – Changing your routine, or getting back into a routine, can throw anyone off. Even if you sit and stare at your computer or notebook for the entire time you’ve set aside, it’s okay. You sat there, you’ve written to a prompt or morning pages. You’ve started. That’s all we can ask of ourselves.
I hope this helps. Writing is wonderful and difficult. It can be easy to let things get in the way. Look to these tips, but mostly to yourself to keep your writing moving forward.