I wouldn’t call it a habit. A habit is done almost mindlessly. It’s automatic. You wouldn’t think of doing it because to not do it takes conscious effort.
Unfortunately, “habit” is the only word I can think of at this moment that fits, because to write is like an addiction to me. If I can’t write, but need to that day, I’m cranky. If I can’t write because I’m pondering something or I’m just tuckered out, that’s different and the annoyance level is much lower.
They say one should occasionally look at one’s writing routines and perhaps share with others, to find weak points and tinker with it to improve one’s productivity or whatever. Honestly though, I’m not certain I can tinker this out much more. It’s kinda stripped down already, so it isn’t like I’m truly slacking on the days where I can actually work.
But this is what the IDEAL day looks like, Monday through Friday.
Wake up. Why am I awake? Try to go back to sleep. Sometimes it works, sometimes I get up and work on something like making a list of to-do’s. Every once in a while I get up and write. When I start writing stories at 230 am, it’s going to be a rough day.
700 am – 820 am
Get the kids up and ready for school. Stuff food in their little gullets, make my chocolate tea (half tea, half homemade hot chocolate mix – shut up, you have your favorites I wouldn’t touch with a ten meter cattle prod, I have mine), pack lunches, what do you mean you don’t know where your (fill-in-the-blank) is? Do you have to have it today? Socks and Shoes, out the door and we walk to school (We walk because I need exercise and if I’m going to suffer, so will they).
900 am – 930 am
Get home. Hopefully it wasn’t an especially early morning and I’m halfway functional because things must be done around the house. Some days it’s keeping the biohazard in the bathrooms to a more humane level, other days it’s digging in the backyard because for some idiot reason I thought terracing was a good idea.
930 am – 1030 am
Shower, dress, breakfast, another chocolate tea. Email.
1030 am – 300pm
Scream profanities at the computer while I flog the keyboard, trying to write something that sounds AWESOME before the alarm goes off informing me that I must wind down what I’m doing and…
310pm – 915pm
Fetch the kids from school. Stuff a snack in their cheeping little mouths. Run errands with children in tow, deal with homework, dinner, TV and gaming console issues, answer questions (Mommy how was the earth made? Lemme pull up a YouTube video to answer that, hon.), referee squabbles, baths, teeth, bedtime books, bed.
915 pm – until whenever my eyes cross (usually between 900 pm and 1030 pm)
More email. Why doesn’t anyone like my WordPress blog? It’s because I don’t have any cat pictures, isn’t it? Start roughing out another post to stick in the drafts section of the WordPress page. Something about what I wrote this afternoon is niggling at the back of my mind, I need to check it again. Bedtime reading. This is research time and I have a stack of about 30 books at my bedside that I feel a need to read in order to broaden my horizons or get a detail right in my stories or some crap like that. Not a lot of fiction in this stack, but then again, I chill out reading non-fiction books, so it’s all good.
Rinse, Lather, Repeat.
This schedule doesn’t work so well when the kids aren’t in school, or there are appointments to deal with or the husband is home or some other nonsense like that, but it’s the general idea. Things get loopy when my characters start talking back (I don’t wanna be with the good man! Make him a recovering bad boy dipped in chocolate or I’ll sit right here until you delete me!), my Muse’s PA gets that look on her face (the one that says “Really? You wrote this tripe? Did you even sit down to consider the possible repercussions throughout your little world when you drop this particular bomb? Go back and sit in the corner and I want you to read it again and this time think about what you’ve done.”), or when I’m stuck in The Swamp Of Something-Or-Other and that usually requires a different set of tools to get out of.
But that’s the ideal writing day.