Why Having a Routine is Great for Writers

Cheney Meaghan Giordano

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I finally started treating writing like it’s my job.

I know. It sounds crazy, right?

It’s hard for me to even think ‘writing is my job’ but since it’s the only form of real income I have right now, I guess writing is my job, huh?

I had been wishy-washy about writing for far too long, not being consistent with writing every day, not being mindful of the content I was putting out and whether it may make any money or be well received, but then, I just got sick of myself.

There’s no other way of putting it: I was disgusted with myself because I knew that it was in my power and only in my power to make my dreams come true.

It’s been a week that I have been consistently writing two to three articles a day, and I have found that having a routine for my writing has been the biggest factor in reaching my goal, and here’s why:

It makes it feel like work.

When you’re writing for a living, you want it to feel like work.

It’s hard not actually going to an office every day to ‘work’ and I would love a local co-working space that I could go to every day to get my writing done, but without that, I have had to settle for the comfort of my couch.

Which is in front of the television.

Which could be a disaster.

So, I have made a promise to myself that I have actually been able to keep for the last seven days — no television before writing for the day is done, because it’s not like you would leave work for an hour to step out and watch The Wire, right?

I still take coffee, bathroom, breakfast and sometimes lunch breaks if the writing takes that long, but for the most part I have dedicated my mornings to writing, and it’s made a huge difference in my productivity and creativity.

If you swear to sit there until your writing is done, you will get your writing done.

Stephen King writes at least 2,000 words a day, every day, before doing anything else. This is is why he is one of the most prolific and bestselling authors of our time.

He sticks to his routine and works whether he is inspired or not.

He just does the work.

I’m reminded of a passage from a ‘Dear Sugar’ article written by Cheryl Strayed in the Rumpus:

“Writing is hard for every last one of us — straight white men included. Coal mining is harder. Do you think miners stand around all day talking about how hard it is to mine for coal? They do not. They simply dig.”

When you dedicate yourself to your writing routine and swear that you will not leave the page until your words are written, you will come up with something to write.

It may take you hours of staring at a blank screen or bouncing around the internet looking for ideas, but you will find an idea, harness it, and write.

But you have to promise to not let yourself down.

Remember, it’s up to you and only you to keep your butt in the chair.

It gets easier every day.

When you make a point to do things day after day and actually change your life and habits to do this thing, it’ll get easier to do every day.

Your new habit of writing daily will soon become routine, and it won’t be a hard temptation to not touch the remote or do something else before your work is done, because you will want to sit there and get your work done.

The more you want to sit and get your work done first thing, the easier it will be to actually do it.

Work breeds on work, the more you write, the easier it will be and the better you will become, there’s hardly a way around it.

And the ideas? They will keep coming.

The things we can write about are, after all, infinite.

So if you want to be a writer, create a routine.

Dedicate your time and treat it like a job.

Put your butt in the chair and stay there until your work is done.

Believe that the ideas will keep coming, and when they do, grab on to those suckers and write your heart out.

It gets better every day.

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I write about parenting, family, relationships, education, disability, mental health, and a whole lot about writing.

Salem, CT
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