Finding the perfect writing routine took years of trial and error, mainly because I couldn’t get myself to focus for long periods. I was constantly distracted, worrying about whether my content was going to be good enough to reach the desired audiences, and so I’d spend far more time planning than I did writing. This was my first mistake.
I desperately wanted to be one of those writers that got up incredibly early in the morning, sitting on the porch with a cup of tea and a laptop in hand ready to write. I quickly learned that I wasn’t going to make that change overnight, nor was I even sure this was the right fit for me.
Determining when I found to be my most creative time of the day was difficult because my sleep schedule was entirely upside down. I wasn’t getting enough rest, and as a result, I’d start every day feeling overwhelmed and irritable. The change happened one day after I wasted hours napping because I got little to no sleep the night before. I managed to extend that nap straight through the night, and when I woke bright and early at six o’clock, I said to myself, “Why don’t I do this more often?”
Planning for the Perfect Writing Routine
Everyone’s desired routine is different. Whether you want to wake up early to batch some blog content, work on your website, or finish another chapter of your book-you’re going to have to make sacrifices. I started to get serious about my sleep schedule so I could get up earlier and take advantage of the morning hours, which I found to be the prime time for my best writing.
Here are the steps I took to acknowledge what I needed and make the necessary changes.
Go to Bed Earlier
If you’re a night owl, this probably isn’t going to work well for you. However, if you’re anything like me and can’t wake up in the morning but also have trouble getting work done at night, you need to go to bed earlier.
I had to change virtually everything about my daily routine to make room for going to bed earlier because, at the time, it wasn’t like I was going to start waking up earlier right away. It took a lot of self-assurance, but eventually, I managed to create sustainable habits that allowed me to write at my best.
Establish a Daily Plan of Action
How you start your day is very important.I’ve noticed that I like to take a bit of time for myself before I jump straight into work, and for that to happen, I had to wake up earlier. Once I implemented that half-hour where I could sit with a cup of tea and read, everything started to change.
I was much more inspired and ready to tackle the day. So, right as I wake up, I make my tea and take that hour before I jump into planning all of the things that need to get done. I find that by establishing a clear plan of action, I’m able to start my day much calmer and wildly more productive.
Section Your Time Wisely
Time-blocking saved my life when I was trying to get everything done early enough to go to bed before three o’clock in the morning. I usually divide up my time into two-hour intervals, sticking to one task before moving onto the next, so I stay focused.
This method allows me to take a small break in between those two hours if I need it, but I avoid switching tasks too much, and this way, I end the day with more completed tasks.
Make Room for the Little Things
My writing routine usually extends past what I’d imagine regular work hours to be, as I write for the majority of the day. Though, I find it crucial to take time for the little things when I switch off for the evening, spending time with family, engaging in hobbies I love, so that I’m more willing to get back up and work the following day again.
Maintain Mental Clarity
This is the biggest takeaway that I want you to focus on in this post. Maintaining mental clarity is a vital part of any creative career because it allows you to create much clearer, more developed work than you would if you were distracted and thinking about something else.
My wind-down routine at the end of the day is essential to help me recharge and get ready for another day of writing. I usually like to take this time to have another cup of tea, catch up on a television show, or do a bit more reading.
What’s important is that you take the time to do the things that make you happy. Even if you’re doing your dream job every day, it’s essential to take a break every once and while. Focus on resetting yourself so that you, in turn, feel better overall.
I hope these tips help you to craft your perfect writing routine so you can create the stories that undoubtedly make you proud.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post! Let’s stay in touch.
Anisa Nasir is a freelance writer and aspiring novelist. She lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband and family. She’s the writer behind As She Writes.