Do you have a writing ritual or routine? Is there a certain place you sit down to write? Do you have to have a certain thing to drink? A particular time of day?
If you do, how do you think it helps you as a writer? If you don’t, tell us how you’ve learned to power through.
Elizabeth Parker Garcia
I work best late at night when my daughter is asleep and I’m tired enough that my internal critic doesn’t have strength to get in my way. When I have vacation time, this can mean writing from 11:00pm until 3:00am if I am lucky. I find I end up with more pages than I’d get during the same amount of time in the day. I think I get in my own way when I am more awake and I hesitate too much. Writing late at night also helps because it seems like I am able to connect the little sensory bits that I’ve stored away during the day.
Dental hygienist by day, writer by night, mother all the time.
Author of Casey Chameleon and Tummy Monster
If I had a writing routine, it would be at my home office in the morning at 8:30AM when the kids are at school. Just me and a cup of hot chai or green tea latte and my computer in front of me. Unfortunately, I don’t have a writing routine because of my schedule is erratic. I write when I can and that could be between innings at a baseball game, while waiting in the parking lot for my kids to get out of school, or when I get a break at work. I don’t mind. Inspiration could strike at any time of the day. When it does, I am always ready to jot my idea down on a piece of napkin, sticky note, or receipt. The great thing about not having a routine is that it encourages me to look for the nuggets of writing time. It has trained my brain to think on the go. That’s what drives creativity is anyway- spontaneity!
Amie Rose Rotruck
I’ve always been puzzled by writers who go other places to write. I’ve tried writing in coffee shops, libraries, the usual places and I actively HATE them. It just doesn’t work. Too many things around me and I usually can’t get comfortable, both physically and mentally. I have to be at my desk at my computer in my office. I recently redesigned and decorated it, so it’s quite nice. I can look out in our backyard, which has a lot of trees, and sip a cup of REAL tea (ie, loose-leaf of the Darjeeling or Earl Grey or English Breakfast persuasion). I’m also fond of cookies, but I really should avoid them!
Writing in the morning is another one of those writer cliche’s that I simply cannot do. I’ve always written best in afternoons or evenings. These days I try to get in a few words while my husband gives my daughter her bath. I have incentive to get a lot done then because if I don’t, I feel I need to write after I get her to sleep. If I’ve done it during bathtime, though, then I can go downstairs after she’s asleep and watch tv and crochet or sew guilt-free!
Writing laugh out loud books for boys and girls
My writing takes me all over the place. We live on a farm so I am blessed with a wide array of writing material and writing places. I write on top of my horse (pen and notebook, no laptop), in the barn (I have a desk in there), out on the pool deck, in the woods, in our gardens (vegetable and flower), in the sun room, and finally, in my office. I move around because I love the variety of smells, sounds, even tastes, and they all end up in my stories. I could never write in one place. But I know some writers need that. We’re all different. Thats what makes life so interesting. I think the thing that really matters is our stories and how we portray our characters. As long as our readers love our stories. As long as I know that I know that I wrote the absolute best book I could, then I’m happy. We’re so very lucky to be writers. Isn’t it just the best job in the world?
Marcie Flinchum Atkins
Children’s and YA Writer
I do most of my writing at 5:00 AM, before I go to my day job, and before the rest of my house wakes up. However, I can write just about anywhere. I drag a bag with me wherever I go, so I’m always prepared. I’ve never really felt like I could have too many rituals because if I did, I feared I’d never be able to write on the go. I do find that having a daily time and place has been productive for my writing, and I view the other times I write as “bonus” times. I like to have either a hot cup of green tea or a cold can of Diet Dr. Pepper. Chocolate is also delightful, though I don’t usually eat it at 5:00 AM. But the bottom line is, I tend to write whenever and wherever I can.
The one thing I’ve learned is that as a writer, you have to find what works for you. It doesn’t matter that JK Rowling wrote in a coffee shop. If doesn’t work for you, then don’t do it. If using a timer, or leaning over the kitchen counter, or jotting down poems in the car while your kid practices soccer, or holing yourself up in a laundry room work for you, then do it!!
Don’t buy into the excuse that “I don’t have xxx, therefore I can’t write.”
Just try out different things and see what clicks for you.