I don’t have a writing routine. I’m almost sad to admit this, as I think it would be lovely to have one. My personal process is very chaotic, and I envy writers who can sit down and bang out scenes like nobody’s business. Even trying the method imparted to every new writer (“draft first, edit later”) seems to yield little success.
Quite often it seems to come down to the day and what works best at the time. Some days I can kick into gear first thing in the morning and make a big dent in what should be the day’s word count. Other days I can’t focus at all until after the sun goes down.
Every book I’ve written so far has followed a very different creative process, probably indicative of how haphazard my “routine” may be. The Guy from the Flower Shop was knocked over in a day, while The Guy from the Internet took 18-months off and on.
The Guy from the Library spent few weeks one-third finished, another few weeks two-thirds finished, and then the remainder got wrapped up in a matter of days — book cover, ebook production and all!
Finally, The Guy from the Park came about in a very regimented fashion. Outline, first draft, revision, beta, edit — it was all very proper and to a tight deadline. Ideally, this is how I’d like all my books to go, but life seems to have other plans in store.
Now, when it comes to work (non-fiction) writing, things are a lot more systematic. It’s just day after day of content that follows the same structure according to tried-and-tested norms. Even when the messaging is different, there just isn’t a lot of variety when it comes to corporate blogs and website copy.
So maybe instead of feeling sad, it makes sense to be thankful that fiction is varied and interesting enough to warrant a chaotic process. There are so many ideas and emotional pinch points to yet to explore that a single standard process might not work just yet. One day, I hope to be savvy enough to land on a routine that works for me, but until then, I’ll just have to keep writing.
Wish me luck!