How to Keep to Your Writing Routine
In my last post, I shared some ways to create your writing routine, but what if you’ve tried that and keep falling off the bandwagon? This happens when we try to create a new habit, and although frustrating, it’s normal — but that doesn’t mean you should become complacent. Any routine has the ability to be kept, you might just need to ask yourself some questions first.
Question 1: Are you making enough time?
Are you really creating enough time and space for yourself to write? Are you trying to squeeze in 30 minutes of writing before the gym, or risk missing your train to work?
This is what you have to realise — you can only make the time if you have the time. Meaning, make the time by cutting out other activities to prioritise your writing. I talked about this in my Q & A post but essentially, if you have activities like exercise that are really important to you, schedule them on a different day than you plan to write. Writing will always come first so you may need to shuffle around other activities.
If you keep starting a writing routine and fall off it almost always then try this: do it early. Just get up, and get it done, even if it means becoming a morning person. I find without a shadow of a doubt that getting your writing done first thing in the morning means it always gets done.
Question 2: Are you burnt out?
This goes hand in hand with having too much in your existing routine.
You’re not going to be motivated to sticking to a new routine if you’re exhausted. It’s not about doing it all, it’s about doing some things purposefully. There’s no need to push yourself and drain your energy, it’s about prioritising.
See where you can cut back on commitments to have the time to write. Ensure you’re getting enough rest and having the time each day to unwind. Your writing will be better quality too.
Question 3: Are you taking care of yourself?
Self care is always the answer! If you’ve found yourself burnt out, then most likely you’re not making your own self care a priority.
Make the time to unwind at the end of the day, start your morning with peace, and generally, do things that appeal to you. Have you been for a walk? Sat quietly and read? Journalled or spent time with friends? Don’t neglect your own needs for your writing. Your writing routine should fit effortlessly into your life so you can continue to do what you love and get your WIP done.
Question 4: What is your intention?
Why are you writing your WIP? What is the motivation for starting in the first place?
With writing, you have to come back to a purpose for why you’re writing. This is called identifying your intention. Each time you feel like putting it off and procrastinating, it’s good to remember why you wanted to start in the first place.
Write on a sticky note why you started and pin it above your writing space. Each time you write, you can look at it and feel how proud you’re going to make yourself when you do finish.
Question 5: Is your space inspiring?
Do you write in a messy environment, or a clean, beautiful environment?
I can be a messy person but I always keep my writing space clean. You’re more likely to want to sit down and write if the space you write in is clean. If you don’t have a designated spot to write, then create one. It’s no good writing on your bed or the couch, it needs to be a place where you know as soon as you sit down, it’s time to write. This is down to our psychology — if you make a space to write, you will write more often and actually make the time to do it.
Create a writing space that is organised, clear of clutter and is generally inspiring. Dot your desk with candles, plants, flowers, crystals — whatever inspires you! Make it a cozy space that makes you feel right at home with your WIP.
Pro tip: Add a vision board filled with images inspired by your WIP so whenever you look at it, you get excited to keep going!
Let me know in the comments below how you’re going with your writing routine.