I felt like blogging today, so I decided to hop on this weekly post bandwagon called Life of a Blogger. There’s a different subject every week, and it allows readers to know more about the person behind the curtain. This week’s topic is a Freebie but since I am new to this train, I’ll do last week’s topic, which is Routines.
I don’t have very many routines or rituals. I mean, I probably do the same thing every single day when I get up to go to work. Wake up, shower, dress, lotion, get in the car and go. When I get to work there are certain things I do first– check the kitchen, make the coffee, check the machines for paper, toner, whatever, check email, say hi to BossMan, shoot the crap with whoever is already in. Other than that, I take life as it goes. Whereas I SHOULD have some sort of reading and writing routine or schedule, I really don’t.
The things I do most, reading and writing, are dictated by the calendar. I have a schedule and I try to give myself plenty of lead time and leeway so that I don’t feel boxed in. For any ARCs I receive, the release date goes on the calendar as soon as I am approved for it. I set a reminder to go off a week before that so that if I haven’t read that book by then, I need to get on it. I read the book, try to get my review written within 48 hours so I can talk about it while it’s fresh, and schedule the review to run on or before the date of release. Other books that are personal reads are really just hanging out in my kindle app or on my TBR in Goodreads. I supplement my ARCS with different material so I don’t burn out on one kind of fiction. If I’m reading a romance ARC, my next read is probably a thriller.
As for writing… well.. other than writing on the weekend, I don’t have a schedule. I am not a person that can force myself to write. When I do, it’s a waste of my time because I end up trashing it. So I’d rather wait… think… mull it over… let it come together. When the thing is writing itself in my head, I know I am ready to put fingers to keyboard. When I was prolific with fanfiction, I’d start writing on Thursday, just to get some ideas flowing and then write Friday and Saturday, get the new chapter to my Beta to read Saturday night, then get her notes back on Sunday, revise, let it sit for a minute. Revise again and post Monday morning. Then the new routine started over again.
The more that I write (and the harder I try to write well), I find it’s difficult to maintain that kind of routine. I find myself writing just to keep the schedule and not writing to advance the story and not producing quality work. So I slow down. I make sure the words say what I want to say and I make sure the ending gives me an opening for the next chapter. Writing too fast causes me to write myself into a corner I can’t get out of… like my 2K12 NaNo in which I had to go back and UNwrite some stuff and go a different way. Unfortunately I had already published some of it so…… yeah. Them’s the breaks.
So for me, routine is fine but it has to allow for some creativity as well.