Creating a Writing Routine: Really Useful Links by Lucy O’Callaghan

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Lucy O'Callaghan

Lucy O’Callaghan

Creating a space and time to write is important in establishing your writing routine. With the summer upon us and schools finishing for the long holidays, snatching time to write can be tricky. Now is the time to organise yourself and schedule writing time for you. I have put together some articles, podcasts, and YouTube videos about establishing writing routines.

  1. How to Stick to a Writing Schedule (lifehacker.com)

Regular writing is good for your mind and emotional health. Sticking to a schedule and facing that blank page can feel like torture sometimes. This article from life hacker shares tips on how to make showing up easier. You can be creative anywhere but having a space where you regularly write primes you to get into the right frame of mind as soon as you sit down. Getting started and making your writing a habit is often the hardest part. Whether it means getting up before the rest of the house or staying up late, find out what works best for you and then commit to it. Setting yourself a timer to do a writing sprint, even if you only set it for 5 mins. You’ll probably find yourself writing for longer and you’ll just write not edit. Allow yourself to get that lousy first draft down. Being a voracious reader and tapping into peer pressure for accountability is also advised.

  1. 6 ways to keep a strong writing schedule | by Alessandro Tinchini | The Writing Cooperative

There’s nothing magic about writing daily. It’s all about routine. You simply have to get used to it, in order to keep the same writing pace every day. It requires discipline. Writing Cooperative shares six ways you can use to create and maintain a serious writing schedule throughout your week, including getting enough sleep, and defining part of the day when you just write and a part when you just read. Use your day job for inspiration, get inspired by other people’s writing, and study a lot through free courses. And, importantly, reward yourself for sticking to a routine.

  1. How to Create a Consistent Writing Schedule: 10 Tips for Writers – 2023 – MasterClass

Masterclass tells us that although you may be filled with ideas, to turn those ideas into pages, you need a consistent writing routine. You need to be realistic and create a writing schedule that fits into your schedule. Find a time of day that works best for you but also create a writing calendar. Physically putting your writing time in a calendar makes it more official, like writing down any other appointment that you’re obliged to keep. Prioritise your projects, and create milestones and deadlines to help you see them through. Be prepared for writer’s block. It’s bound to happen at some point: find creative ways to use that time. Joining a writing community and find inspiration by connecting with other writers. This can help make you accountable. And, importantly, start right now! Don’t put it off until tomorrow.

  1. Writing Schedule Hacks (How Major Authors Got Going) | Now Novel

This article from Now Novel explains how being accountable, whether to a calendar or a person, is key to keeping to a writing schedule. Accountability facilitates focus, commitment, purpose, positive change, and support. A writing schedule is far easier to keep when you’re motivated. Having an easy win, something quick to finish at the start of a writing session is a helpful hack. Writing daily is important as repetition and frequency are key to building a good habit. This article shares thoughts and tips from published writers about how they established their routines.

  1. How to Create a Writing Schedule (In 3 Simple Steps) (self-publishingschool.com)

This guide to creating a writing schedule covers why writing schedules are important, how to make a schedule that works for you, tips for sticking to it, and software recommendations for writing schedules. Writing on a schedule will keep you writing regularly. It doesn’t have to be every day but it must be regularly. By having a schedule, you’ll train yourself when it’s time to write. Self-Publishing School advises you to set a target date to have something finished, make a word count goal, and break the goal into chunks. To stick to your schedule the article offers tips such as participating in NaNoWriMo at any time of year, using habit-tracking apps, connecting with online writing communities, and creating a ritual.

Podcast

Episode 3: Writing When You Have No Time (amiekaufman.com)

If you want, or even need, to write, but you are having trouble finding the time, this one’s for you. Amie Kaufman has a guide for busy people that will help you carve out that time.

YouTube

This video from The Creative Penn explains why you need to be ‘regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work’ as described by Gustave Flaubert, author of Madame Bovary.

This video from Jessica Brody, author of Save the Cat, explains how a writing routine is a set of steps that you follow each time you write to make sure you’re writing consistently, activating your creativity, and boosting your productivity (meaning writing as much as you can each time). She shares six steps to creating one that works for you.

Establishing a writing routine is a surefire way to learn your craft, get some words down, and develop as a writer. It takes time, commitment, and effort. I think I heard somewhere that it takes 30 days to create a routine. I hope you have found this week’s column useful. As always, if there are any topics you would like me to cover then please get in touch.

(c) Lucy O’Callaghan

Instagram: lucy.ocallaghan.31.

Facebook: @LucyCOCallaghan

Twitter: @LucyCOCallaghan

About the author

Writing since she was a child, Lucy penned her first story with her father called Arthur’s Arm, at the ripe old age of eight. She has been writing ever since. Inspired by her father’s love of the written word and her mother’s encouragement through a constant supply of wonderful stationary, she wrote short stories for her young children, which they subsequently illustrated.
A self-confessed people watcher, stories that happen to real people have always fascinated her and this motivated her move to writing contemporary women’s fiction. Her writing has been described as pacy, human, moving and very real.
Lucy has been part of a local writing group for over ten years and has taken creative writing classes with Paul McVeigh, Jamie O’Connell and Curtis Brown Creative. She truly found her tribe when she joined Writer’s Ink in May 2020. Experienced in beta reading and critiquing, she is currently editing and polishing her debut novel.
Follow her on Instagram: lucy.ocallaghan.31. Facebook and Twitter: @LucyCOCallaghan

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