Time flies, and there are only 24 hours in a day. Fighting procrastination has been (still is) a big thing in my life. As an author and full-time employee, I have to commute every day and I don’t specifically have the time for my writing… if I don’t make it.
I started a writing routine last month and some of you asked what it was. In June, I have written no less than 6,000+ words on my non-fiction project. I don’t know if you realise but that was huge for me.
So today I’m sharing my daily writing routine. Of course, I don’t do that every single day. It’s important to note that unforeseen events can always add themselves in a schedule. But I’m trying to be as honest as possible.
6:00 am | Get ready for the day
I’ve never been a morning person. I need my 8-hour sleep like everybody. So when I tell people I’m getting up at 6 am, they always have a strange reaction. ‘How do you do this?’ or ‘You’re so brave!’ But, you know, it’s just a habit. You’ll see, further in this article, that I also go to bed fairly early. Sleep is the most important tool you have to rest your body and mind, so don’t shorten it.
After hugging my husband and trying to wake up a little bit, I go to the bathroom and get ready for the day. As for breakfast, I will not have it at that moment because it’s too early for me to have any food in my stomach. And when I’m ready…
6:45 am | Get some writing done
… I go downstairs, take my laptop and open Scrivener. Now, it’s not mandatory to have that software in particular, it’s just how I do it. Anyway, I get some writing done until I have to take off to work. It can represent a session from 20 – 30 minutes up to one hour, depending on how quickly I could get my head out of the sleepy fog.
I’m setting up a goal of 300 words per writing session, which isn’t much but is reachable. I had tried writing 500 words but it appeared it was sometimes too much. And when I couldn’t reach that word count, I would beat myself up because I didn’t work hard enough. At least, with 300 words, I know it’s completely doable and I’m setting myself up for success and a nice head start.
7:45 am | Commute
I’d be in the car for one hour before reaching the office, so have plenty of time to still do some stuff. How? By listening to podcasts or audiobooks. I’m not a huge fan of radio, as they’re mainly silly and don’t even broadcast good enough music to my taste. So podcasts and audiobooks are a good alternative. At least, you’re the one choosing your own entertainment.
I made a list of 10 podcasts to listen to as an author, so you can have a look. As for audiobooks, depends on your listening capacities. I know that I haven’t the head to it sometimes, even though I tend to take huge audiobooks to listen to. At the time of writing this article, I’m listening to The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon, which represents more than 28 hours of audio (it’s originally an 800-page book).
9:00 am | Workday
You’ll probably laugh, but I’m a Content Manager by day. Which means writing is also part of my day job. I’d write one article, maybe two, per week. They need to be high-quality copy, written in at least two languages (French and English), optimised for search engines and all that stuff.
I like my job. It allows me to write on various subjects. Previously, I had worked for a travel company so I’d write about city tourism and train tickets for months. At the time I’m writing this, I work for a marketing-type of company so I’m also learning a lot about how to market a product, how to create ads, etc. It’s very enlightening, especially since I would love to make it as an indie author. So I’m also taking notes for my own marketing, it’s very useful.
7:15 pm | Spend quality time with loved ones
I leave the office at around 6:00 pm and arrive home on time for dinner. My husband is working from home nowadays so he’s already there, still working on his music. We have dinner together and we talk about our day. I love that quiet time that follows: we spend time together, sometimes go for a walk, sometimes watch a TV show.
It’s the time of the day when you know you don’t have anything else to do. You could, of course, put that time into your writing if you feel you have the energy and mental space to do so. I personally use that time to chill or to do technical stuff around my blog.
10:00 pm | Bedtime
There it is, the time to sleep after a productive day. I usually go to bed at around 10 pm, because I get up at 6 am and I know I need my 8-hour sleep, remember? As important as your writing, sleeping is certainly not something you can skip. Don’t mess up with it and you’ll see you’ll be able to be as productive as you’d like.
There you go, you’ve got an open window on my writing routine. I hope it will inspire you in some ways, and that you’ll make the time to work on your project.
Have you got a writing routine? Will you start one?
Do not hesitate to tweet me @vdvestelle