Tag Archives: writing routines

Crabs May Yawn, but They Don’t Write Well

Laura Ayo

My favorite pair of pajamas has grumpy-looking crabs with “Crabby in the Morning”  written all over the fabric. That phrase describes me well on most days. It especially suits me if someone or something wakes me up before my alarm goes off, or if my alarm beeps at me with any number lower than a seven glowing on the display. If it’s dark and below 40 degrees outside, I’m even more crabby. And if it’s below 20 degrees outside, I am the evil queen of all the crabs in the kingdom. I woke up today at 5:30 a.m., but because it was only 53 degrees outside, my level of crabbiness was manageable with some caffeine. Lately, however, I’ve been pondering how my sleeping patterns affect other aspects of my life, particularly my writing. Continue reading

…And She Made Progress!…Until She Didn’t.

Naomi Hawkins-Rowe

If you read my last post, you know that I set some concrete goals to banish my spiral into a summertime slothfest. And for the most part it worked fantastically!

I was up almost every morning at 5:30, sometimes earlier. I can count on one hand the number of mornings I wasn’t. I kept my summer reading to designated times and used my post-its to set Continue reading

And Then It Was Summer…

Naomi Hawkins-Rowe

Summer is a tricky season for maintaining habits. I’m not sure if it the warm weather or the incurable desire to head to the beach (even though it’s nowhere near where I currently live), but all I want to do is hunker down with the pile of books on my nightstand and read. Kevin Wilson’s a Perfect Little World is calling my name.

I must resist. Continue reading

Practical Prompt 5-03-17

WriteOwls logo 150 blackYou finally have a moment to write, but what to do with your limited time? Here’s a practical prompt to kickstart the story you’re working on right now. The clock is ticking, people. Start writing.

If you’re struggling to get words on the page, using a timer may help. In your next writing session, set an alarm for the first half of your allotted writing time. If you only have 30 minutes to write, set the alarm for 15 minutes and write, racing the clock. Avoid deleting, backspacing or reconsidering during this 15-minute segment. The goal is word count. When the alarm goes off, use the last half of your writing time to polish and flesh out what you wrote under the gun.

Mental Writing

Megan Norris Jones

Megan Norris Jones

This is the last week of Write by Midnight. My record this month hasn’t been perfect, but, despite numerous family obligations and unexpected responsibilities, I have managed to get up early most mornings and write. I really think I’ve established a habit. Hooray!

But an extra thirty minutes a day, while extremely helpful, won’t get my novel polished and published any time soon. So, as the month comes to a close, I’ve been considering ways to maximize my scarce writing time.

One method I’ve been experimenting with is “mental writing” while I’m engaged in other necessary tasks that require my body but not my mind. You know the ones I mean: washing dishes, folding clothes, walking the dog. I often end a writing session with a problem that I must solve in order to continue. Rather than use my precious writing time to stare at my computer screen and try to figure out what I need to write next, I use my mental writing time to work through the problem so that when I sit down at my computer again, I can dedicate the time to actual writing.

The time I spend outside or exercising seems to be the most effective, and there’s a long tradition of writers using long walks to work through narrative issues, but any time I can squeeze in some extra thought about my own story is helpful. As a result, even if I’m not writing for longer stretches, the time I do spend writing is more efficient.

How do you maximize your own writing time?