Writing
Comments 5

Establishing a Daily Writing Routine

I’ve been blogging about my on and off romance with early morning writing for sometime now. Every time I think I’ve established the daily routine and raise both arms in triumphant celebration, something just pops in my brain and pretty soon I’m not doing early morning writing again.

I think that on an unconscious level, this is why I committed to daily blogging this year. It’s a public commitment that would not be so hard to put off. So far I’ve been consistently posting everyday – including Monday reblogs – which equates to time off for good behavior during the past week.

I write and post my blogs whenever I have the time. But it hasn’t been an antidote for my failed attempts to keep a daily early morning date with the Muse. But the commitment to blog daily at least forces me to write everyday.

I know the reason is neither laziness nor procrastination. Ok, so now I’m giving myself a nice excuse, because according to neuroscience, research indicates that creative personality types and habit/routine simply don’t go together.

In her article about creativity, which appeared in the Huffington Post, Carolyn Gregoire’s writes: “And psychologically speaking, creative personality types are difficult to pin down, largely because they’re complex, paradoxical and tend to avoid habit or routine. And it’s not just a stereotype of the “tortured artist” — artists really may be more complicated people. Research has suggested that creativity involves the coming together of a multitude of traits, behaviors and social influences in a single person.”

It makes me wonder. How come other writers have no problem with the daily writing habit? Surely they’re not less creative than those like me who seem to lose steam after a period of early morning writing.

According to Gregoire, one of the characteristics of highly creative people is this: “They work the hours that work for them.”

In other words, creatives know when they work best. “Many great artists have said that they do their best work either very early in the morning or late at night. Vladimir Nabokov started writing immediately after he woke up at 6 or 7 a.m., and Frank Lloyd Wright made a practice of waking up at 3 or 4 a.m. and working for several hours before heading back to bed. No matter when it is, individuals with high creative output will often figure out what time it is that their minds start firing up, and structure their days accordingly.”

What a conundrum. I have been trying to fit into my life a daily writing routine because I want it there, ever-present just as brushing my teeth. I’ve tried late night writing and I managed to do it on and off. No habit formed. I’ve tried early morning writing and succeed only for a while, fall off the habit, and try again. With daily blogging, I fit the writing at various times of the day as my schedule permits. But it feels so haphazard.

Perhaps I should find my rhythm and write at night when I’m not able to write in the morning; and write in the morning when I feel like it.

It’s worth a try.

Good luck with your own daily writing routine!

 

Practice is something done under all circumstances, whether you’re happy or sad. You don’t become tossed away by a high weekend or a blue Monday. It is something close to you., not dependent on high-tech gyrations or smooth worship leader talk. Writing is something you do quietly, regularly, and in doing it, you face your life…                              -Natalie Goldberg

 

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5 Comments

  1. I understand your dilemma, Rosanna. I too have no specific time but that’s a matter of having a full-time job and three kids. I fit it in when I can and it sounds like you do, too. Maybe we’re breaking the mold? Maybe we’re just amazingly adaptable and can turn on the creativity as needed? I actually think that should be do-able, especially if writing is a matter of practice. If all we need to do is practice why does it matter what time we do it?

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    • Well said, Susanne. Like you, I have a job that keeps me away from writing. I don’t have kids, but I have 22 animals to feed and care for every single day. This morning I dialogued on this dilemma, and the answer was, I was being too left-brained about the whole issue. Writing gurus have their formulas, but we all have different circumstances and personalities, so you’re right, time doesn’t really matter. Although I’ve read many authors and writing teachers who insist on regular writing time. Thank you for your insights. I appreciate so much your comments.:-)

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  2. greenlakeblue says

    This is very interesting Rosanna. I think of myself as someone with a creative personality, yet I do like some routine BUT… I don’t like rules or timetables or strict timings. I think I could never commit myself to say writing at 6am every day. There is simply no way I could do that, even if I want it. It implies an obligation, and that’s something which doesn’t match with creativity (in my opinion). On the other hand, we can discuss the merits of self-discipline as opposed to obligation. Now… I like the idea of self-discipline, however, being a true Aquarian it wont last long!

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    • That’s a good point, Natalia – yes indeed it may become an obligation at some point. I’m not an Aquarian, but like you I have trouble keeping up with routine. You brought up another point about obligation and discipline…well as Susane who earlier commented said, why should the specificity of time matter? Thanks so much for your inputs!

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  3. Pingback: When Life Interrupts | Writing on the Pages of Life

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