Finding a new routine

Like many in the world, I find myself working from home these days. While I did not think myself a work from home type of soul, I’m adjusting to a new timetable and way of doing things. I feel that it will be a healthier path for me, ultimately, but it has required some adjustments. One of the things that has suffered has been my writing routine. While I’ve carved out a few hours each Sunday to write blog posts (or not, if you’re a regular follower of this blog, you know there are weeks when it just doesn’t happen), I have yet to identify the ideal quiet time within my work week or even weekend to write creatively and work on my WIPs. 

It’s sad, I miss my characters and I am at the point where I cannot contain the story lines that are popping up in my head throughout my life. They are like demons that must be exorcized. So I’m using this blog post to consider when in my regular schedule may be a good time to start trying out. 

Mornings

This would obviously be the ideal time for me to be writing so that I can do so with a fresh mind and heart, before the world has had a chance to wear me down. But, I’ve put together a pretty great morning routine and I don’t know that it will sustain another thing added to it. Maybe it will. I think this is the one I will try first, and see if I can manipulate my morning to find a half hour to write. Maybe it will catch on. Maybe I’ll crash and burn, who knows? Stay tuned. 

Afternoons 

My work day is complete between 4 and 4:30 p.m. each day depending on when I start my day and my workload. Knowing the pitfalls of work from home, I’m pretty religious about maintaining a consistent start and stop point, so, while I may continue with a task I’m in the groove with and work a bit later, it’s not usually the case. Sometimes, thereafter, I will work on some freelance work, meal prep, run to the grocery store, etc. But, perhaps I can get into the routine of going for a walk to clear my head and then returning to my computer to free write for a period of time? 

Evenings

These are just a no-go. With rising at 5:30-6:30 a.m. each morning, I’m burn out by 8 p.m. and ready for bed by 9:30. Mindless television or scrolling through Instagram is about all I got at that point. But, should the muse call to me, I’ll be sure to answer her. 

Bottom line: I’ll need to try things out and then work on the routine from there. I know I’ll find my way back to my stories in time, I just need to make it a priority. 

4 thoughts on “Finding a new routine

  1. Hi Shannon: It was nice coming to your post today. I kind of enjoyed reading how your day pans out. It was nicely explained. We’re all going through a different time and there’s so many things that have changed. I’m so glad you have the kind of religious zeal towards routines you mentioned, i’m a bit weak in that area, so yeah, i will pick on a few things from you and try to push myself more. What’s your next writing project looking like?

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    • I’m so glad you’ve found the post useful! I’m actually diving back into the WIP, from which excerpts appear here, called Sons. It centers around addiction and infertility and both of those things have been affected by corona, and the subsequent shutdown, and have been weighing on my mind. I’ve only been able to spend time with my WIP one day this week, but I’m feeling out that schedule to see where it fits in best! I know it’s calling to me more now than in recent months.
      How about you?

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  2. What are your thoughts on routines versus systems? I’ve begun looking more into systems, as in making sure I get things done, but not setting a hard time for each of them, and I feel like the flow isn’t really there.

    Like I can make up for a missed writing session and do it at a different part or the day, but the vibe’s just different. Maybe I need rigid routines after all. Anyway, thanks for sharing!

    p.s. discovered that I thrive with routines in the quarantine. Wouldn’t have known otherwise.

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    • I agree with your assessment, at least for me personally, that I can put “write for an hour” on a to-do list, but, I’ve also found that the vibe’s not right or I don’t have enough energy to put that time that I need into my passion project. For me, personally, if I allow myself to check it off my to-do list, I would be writing at the end of a long workday, after I’ve already given the best of my day to someone else’s passion projects. So, for me, I’ve found through trial and error that a routine is a good way of establishing my priorities and getting things done.
      Systems work for other things. For example, on the weekends, I’m much less rigid with times. I let myself wake up and I have that to-do list of things that should get done that day. I allow myself to make the decision of what feels right for how they get done throughout the day. I feel less constrained with my time and that’s what I need on the weekend. That said, my whole to-do list rarely gets done.
      So I think it’s a very personal answer and that you have to try on different methods and see what’s going to work for you!

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