Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Writing Rituals

Everybody got their somethin'. I'm a creature of habit. If any of my little morning rituals get interrupted, I have a hard time getting back to writing.

My usual Monday-Friday schedule goes something like this:

8 am - Wake up, contemplate how sleepy I am. Say to myself, "Are you a writer, or not?" Take a deep breath and get up.

8:10 - Sit at computer, coffee mug in hand. Open files, get to work.

8:45 - Consider checking email; fight it. Keep writing.

9:30 - Wonder if anything I just wrote is worth saving.

10:00 - Check email and/or blog something and choke down breakfast

10:30 - Head out to work until 7pm. (It's pilot season right now, where every network orders sample episodes of potential new series for the fall, so we're swamped.)

After work I can occasionally revise pages but more often I'm too beat to write new stuff.

So that's on a good day.

If we're out of coffee filters, I'll improvise with paper towels. If we're out of coffee, I go into a coma. Not much writing gets done. And it's not even the caffeine, it's the ritual. The smell and taste, the feeling that now I can start writing.

If my husband decides to get up too, I sort of freeze at the computer and lose my flow. He's a night owl and I'm a reformed morning person but our apartment is really small and I need a bit of space to write.

If I check email, Facebook, or go online to research before 10 am, that's usually it for me as well; there's almost no going back to writing.

Right now I'm revising one project and setting another aside for a few weeks so I can view it more objectively, but looking over my rules I'm kind of amazed that I got so much done last year, considering how particular I am. Maybe the Writers' Retreat my friends and I are planning for March will help me toughen up a little.


  1. A writer's retreat sounds fun!!

    I'm not too much a creature of habit, as far as my writing process goes. I write in the evening usually, but the mornings on the weekend. And somtimes at work.

    The big things are TV off and no phone calls (and no friends/family present). I do get distracted by the internet, but sometimes I need it for a break.

  2. I'm the same way about my morning coffee. I don't care if it's decaf or regular, as long as it's hot. It's the feel of the cup and the warmth and taste of the coffee. Without it, I'm out of sync. :-)

  3. I think my problem is that I don't have any writing rituals. I fit it in wherever I can. I should probably write in the morning, but my brain isn't awake enough yet, so I blog instead. Some days I don't write a thing, and some days, when I get REAL quiet time, I write a lot.

    I'm jealous of your schedule! I really wish I could stick to one.