When I first got back into writing, the excitement of reconnecting with my storytelling fueled my writing. I had challenging days here and there. For the most part, though, I was excited to write and that excitement was enough to carry me through my lack of routine. Since the lack of consistent routine wasn’t hampering my productivity, I (wrongly, I now think) assumed that I could just seat-of-the-pants it all the time.
No problem. After all, isn’t that what I did when I was a kid? I wrote whenever the inspiration struck and inspiration struck virtually every day. There was rarely an hour that went by that I wasn’t at least thinking about writing if not scribbling down notes and scenes. So, what worked then should work now. Right?
Seems to me that I was sorely mistaken on that idea. First of all, I often finished short stories in one sitting, but never finished any of the several novel length stories I began. Second of all, I’m not the same person I was then. Not just because I am the homeschooling mother of two children, owner of 3 dogs, 1 cat, a fish and a frog, and a newbie blogger but because I don’t think the same as I did then. I think my world then was a little smaller. Maybe a lot smaller. There wasn’t a lot else competing for brain space other than school. And it’s more than that…it’s something I can’t put my finger on just now…I only know it’s there.
So then…what am I to do? Obviously, I need to suck it up and establish a routine. I’ve got to stop whining that I have Morning Pages, exercise, breakfast to make, children to get focused on tasks, animals to feed, a house to clean, a knitting project to finish and 324 episodes of something to watch on the DVR. I need to pick something and really try it out. And if, after an honest effort, it doesn’t work, I can pick another writing time or routine.
That routine doesn’t have to spoil spontaneity. I can still write whenever. I just need to keep the routine too. It can even be more of a fail safe type thing. If the muse doesn’t throw me a big fish, I’ll still have gotten at least some writing done at my routine time. That part of me that hates to be told what to do and wants to rebel like a 3-year-old can just get over it.
Alright then. My plan is to wake up before the children, write my Morning Pages, put in some time on the elliptical, have breakfast, then sit down and write for at least 15 minutes. When the children wake up, I’ll get them breakfast and settled into their morning tasks, and grab at least another 15 minutes. After that, I suppose I can wait for inspiration to strike. Maybe I need to set up an evening writing routine too either preceded or followed by another go on the elliptical. Of course, I need to fit blogging in there too. Well, I’ll give that a try tomorrow and see if it needs tweaking.