We’ve all talked about how we handle the whole writing process. Sean in particular has talked about setting up a routine to crank out 1,000 words per day, by hook or by crook. To be perfectly honest, other than setting myself a daily writing target (especially during Nanowrimo) I haven’t been overly conscious of routine in my writing.
At least, until now.
Like many people, I am naturally a procrastinator deep down. When things are going well, it’s easy to sit down every night and write. But when uncertainty sets in… watch out. I have very little trouble putting off what I “should be doing” for whatever catches my fancy at the moment.
Case in point was the past ten days. I finished my Nano novel early and had time to either: (a) edit said novel; (b) work on my next book; (c) write the synopsis for my first book. Guess which of those three activities I spent the majority of my time on. Any takers? Well the correct answer would be (d)… none of the above.
Why is that, I wonder? Actually, it’s not that tough to work out in all honesty. Much like Aaron, I needed to take a break from writing after being so focused on my Nano novel. The other reason though, is one I’ve run up against time and again throughout my life. It all ties back to my perfectionist nature.
Whenever I’m faced with something new, something I haven’t ever done before, I like to analyse and learn as much as I can about it. That’s not entirely strange, I suppose, but I take it to the nth degree. I want to know EVERYTHING about it. Consequently, I often wait and plot, then wait some more before I ever do anything.
That’s got to stop and this is where routine becomes absolutely critical. If I have a routine that I sit down and write something, anything, every night, then I’m still moving forward. I’m not mired in the muck of indecision. I already set priorities on practically everything I do (I suspect Sean knows exactly what I’m talking about and so do all of you with lives), so that’s not an issue either. Combine the two and I’ve got a killer combination: writing every night on the highest priority project.
No more sitting back and waiting until I feel that I’ve mastered something. I’ve finally begun to realize that research doesn’t make perfect. Rather (and it is a bit of a cliche’, I know, “Practice makes perfect”. Nope, starting tonight, I hereby declare that I will begin the development of a writing routine. Between that and my priority list, I believe I can move further down the path towards becoming a professional writer.
It won’t be easy. That much I’ve already realized. I’m going to have to be dedicated to it all. With holidays coming and a bit of work-related travel, I’m going to need extra diligence. But it will all be worth it. So there it is. That’s my goal.
Care to join me?