The one thing I’ve struggled with over the last three years (and really since I started writing) is finding a routine. Granted the last 6-7 years (and especially the last 3) have been difficult when trying to combine writing with school. My writing life has pretty been much nonexistent for the last 3 years since I started PT school. I occasionally feel guilty about this, but then I remember that PT needs and deserves a tremendous amount of time since it’s me studying for my career. Writing is still at the hobby stage.
Anyway, this lack of schedule has resulted in me not finished a project in probably three years. But it’s also seen me start like 3-4 other projects I had no business starting because I now have a tremendous pile of work to catch up on and finish before I can move on to some other ideas.
Now that things have sort of settled down during clinicals, I’ve been writing more but still not as much as I wanted to. So beginning of February I decided to challenge myself to write at least 100 words/day. Partly to find this elusive thing people call a routine, and also to finish up a project.
Even after missing 5 days in February since starting the challenge, I still managed 9,567 words for the month. I can say with a high degree of certainty that’s a higher monthly word count than I’ve managed in awhile. So seeing that I can write almost 10K in the shortest month of the year (and that’s even with missing about a week of writing days in there), I decided to keep it up but now challenging myself to writing 10K in March. I’m already ~2200 in.
This little exercise has proved to me, the queen of I don’t have time, that yes, I do have time to write. Even if some nights it doesn’t happen until 11 pm. (whoops). It’s been a great exercise for me. Some days I barely get the 100. Other days I’m pushing almost 1000, and days with everything in between. It’s helped me push through some minor blocks where I have to get some words down in order to meet the daily goal. I’m writing this project in a notebook so it’s highly satisfying to sit down for a writing session thinking I’ll barely make it, only to churn out 3-4 pages.
I like the word count better than a time limit. It’s not many words to get and you’re not watching the clock (which I find more distracting). One of these days I might bump the daily goal up to 200/day but let’s not get crazy. 😛 I also think it’s making me a faster writer??
In short, I’m loving this challenge. It’s making me plan ahead to writing sessions. I’ve had several days where I’m like “let me get my 100 words in and then we can go do something”. It really doesn’t take very long and then you’re 100 words further into the story. I’ve made some tremendous progress on this story I’m working on, and I’m very confident that I’ll be finishing it by the end of March. Maybe even in the next week or so. And then on to work on the next project that’s been waiting for me to finish it for 3 years…
What’s your writing routine look like? Do you have a word count or time limit or are you a spontaneous writing dragon?