I have found that developing a routine and following it regularly contributes to productivity. When I do my Yoga, I have established several sets that I can run through. Which one I choose depends on how much time I have available and how I am feeling. However, I know all the poses in each one and can move from one to the next without interruption.
As do most of us, I have a morning routine that I follow. It allows me to go smoothly from turning off my alarm to dropping my little ones at preschool without the need to stop and think what comes next. As these routines become established, we go through them on auto-pilot. If something interrupts them, we may feel that our whole day is out of sync.
In spite of this, I’ve never had a true writing routine. The books and articles I read about writing usually mention a routine somewhere. It may be a simple as “I get up at 5am and write for an hour before anyone else is awake,” but there’s almost always something. Some people have a special writing place. Some write their first draft on paper, others use a writing app. Since it seems to be so widespread, I decided it might be helpful to find my own.
As a step in that direction, I’ve gone back to the Editorial Calendar that was recommended when I was engaged in a 30 day writing program a few years ago. I am currently working on my Lenten commitment which involves daily meditative readings and a daily journal with a todo list included. Adding the weekly Editorial Calendar update to that on Saturdays was simple.
I already have a standing commitment to update our church website on Monday. I’ve decided to try posting here on Wednesday, on Mamaw’s Homeplace on Thursday, and Jim and April’s Roadtrips that I share with my brother on Friday. That leaves me Tuesdays free to do any planning or research I feel I might need for the other three days.
The second step is to decide on the mechanical aspects of getting my thoughts down. I like using Microsoft Word because it gives me an automatic word count as I type. However, I’m not proficient enough with it to keep things organized. I wind up with paragraphs and pages, but no easy way of keeping track of characters, scenes, etc. When I was working regularly on my two WIP ideas, I downloaded yWriter for that reason.
I still prefer doing the actual writing in Word but, at the end of the day, I paste it all into the app so that it stays organized. I thought it should be possible to apply the same technique for the short stories that I’m planning on using as my current training tool. I did a little bit of Googling and found a couple of examples of how other people are doing that. I’m presently organizing a Project for Flash Fiction writing.
As a third step, I spent much of today searching for Flash Fiction writing sites that offer prompts and a forum for sharing them with other writers. I’ve gone back to Friday Fictioneers, but added a couple of new ones as well. I also found an interesting site for random writing prompts that offers phone apps. I plan to download them and see how helpful they are.
It’s very tempting to just let the fiction substitute for the posts here and, until I get organized, I may do that. However, I want to do more. Once I have a writing flow established, I plan to post here several times a week with one day for flash fiction, one for essay type non-fiction posts and one for various topics of interest: creative nonfiction, memoir, health/self improvement, or current events.
I have no interest in monetizing my sites, no ads or annoying popup videos. I just want a place to engage with the world and practice my chosen craft.