Same old, same old? Not so much

I’ve tried all the various routines, from writing in every spare moment to writing a specific number of words per day (mostly in the first couple of NaNoWriMos I participated in) to binge writing. I’ve written things straight through from beginning to end and gone back months or years later to pick up something that I set aside. Lately, I’ve been getting partway through the day on Friday and realizing I should write a flash to post.

I’ve written longhand in notebooks and on random index cards that are lying around. I have written in Word, in a plain text editor, and in Scrivener. I’ve written first thing in the morning when I sit down to the computer, and I have written late into the night (and on into the next morning) because I didn’t want to walk away from what I was doing.

I have also gone weeks without writing a word of fiction, instead spending time with my family, with books, with my crafts.

. . . so I don’t have a routine.

That’s okay. Although there are impassioned people who insist that if you don’t write every day, or if you don’t write first thing in the morning, or if you don’t outline first, or if you do outline, you’re not a real writer, I’ve never believed that. The bottom line is do I create stories that people want to read? As long as the answer is yes, I’m doing my job.

Even if it’s not routinely.

Today’s post was inspired by the topic “Writing routines”– April’s topic and theme in the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour — an ongoing tour where you, the reader, travel around the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. We have all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Be sure to check out the next posts in the series, by Sandra Barret and D. M. Bonanno.

If you want to get to know nearly twenty other writers and find out their thoughts on first stories, check out the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour. You can find links to all of the posts on the tour by checking out the group site. Read and enjoy!

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  1. Were you looking over my shoulder when I drafted MY post on the subject?

  2. A very timely reminder that whatever works is good 🙂

  3. Sometimes I think we get so caught up in believing that we have to have some sort of ultra strict routine in order to be considered real writers. It’s good see someone challenging that notion!

    • I’m a firm believer in finding what works for the individual. Trollope wrote standing up for two hours every morning before heading off to deliver mail. He was amazingly prolific. That doesn’t mean I’m going to follow his example! 🙂

  4. I think we are siblings from different mothers. 🙂

  5. At best those ‘shoulds’ are for folk starting out and don’t know where to start. It gives them something to lean into, experiment with, reject, subvert, transform, etc, until they find their own way.

    • True enough! I worry sometimes that people get scared by the “shoulds,” feeling if they can’t do it the right way, then maybe they shouldn’t try at all. But if they only want a starting point, any point is as good as another.

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