Forum: Rebuild Routine

It’s been some time since our heroine posted a Forum, Dear Reader. For that, I apologize and thank you for your continuing support and well wishes. At the risk of jinxing things, I seem to be back on track in regards to both physical and computer health.

It’s said that a writer writes. No matter the mood, no matter if the writer doesn’t feel like it, the writer writes. That’s all well and good – and I agree with it – but I’m also realistic enough to know that Life Happens. It can come along and knock one off the tracks hard and fast. I had a crash course in that over the last few months. While I yearned to be able to write, it was beyond possibility.

Did that mean I was no longer a writer? No, it meant I was taking an enforced break. As soon as I realistically could, I returned to the fold. I optimistically thought I could pick up right where I left off. I quickly discovered this was not the case. Conversations with others who were blown off the tracks for a while showed me I wasn’t alone.

The obvious step to me was to rebuild a routine. Easy to say, less easy to do. I’ve heard it takes six weeks to form a habit and only two to break it. Daunting facts if that’s true. It also means there’s no time like the present to get to work on the renewed habit of a writing routine.

Debra Marrs once told me that clearing up my writing space could help the creative process. I found that’s true, especially with the level of clutter I create here. Zoë Westhof wrote an article on her blog Essential Prose titled Unclogging Your Creative Space. It’s largely an interview with Lisa Baldwin of Divine Order. It’s a great look at how clutter can impact your internal balance and therefore your creativity. There’s even an e-course available to help.

I am a spiritual chickie, so the title of another article on the subject drew me in. Do You Have a Sacred Writing Space? is found on Storytellers Unplugged and was written by Jeanie Franz Ransom. Inspired by a book, she delved into the creation of a special place to do her writing. Knowing it would take time to convert that space, she came up with a delightful solution.

Okay, you’re ready to sit down and do some writing. Right? It may be difficult to get a routine going, especially if Life is still Happening. Ever onward, though. It’s time to get some words on the page. Time? Always an issue.

We move on to How to Find Time for Writing, an article by Patty Jansen on her blog, Beyond Infinity. She addresses all the typical excuses. Moreover, she gives good solutions and ideas to help prioritize things. It’s more than a pep talk, so do take a look please.

My writing routine always began in the early morning. I posted this link once before, but it applies here as well. If mornings aren’t your best time, you can still glean ideas from it. The article is titled Create a Morning Routine. It’s by Leo Babauta and is on the blog Freelance Switch.

Now what? Are you staring at the blank page or the Blinking Cursor of Death? It can be difficult, even with all that preparation, to get the creative juices flowing. I often begin with a few writing prompts posted to #storystarters on Twitter during my morning coffee and Twitter writing prep. There’s an article on the great blog Write It Sideways by Suzannah titled What Should I Write About? Finding Inspiration. In addition to some worthy suggestions, she offers a list of links on the subject. Something is bound to strike your fancy, so be sure to check it out.

Getting back on track is easier for some than others. The hurdles I faced over the last few months threw me so far off track, I couldn’t hear the train’s whistle. I’ve come to believe that both dedication and desire must be present to put yourself back in the writing mindset.

Having the support of friends and family – support, mind, not pressure – cannot be underestimated. If you’re on Twitter, check into #amwriting. There’s a terrific group of writers just waiting to offer support and a cheering section.

You can do this. We both can.

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