What's your writing routine?

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Robert Lee Brewer
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What's your writing routine?

Postby Robert Lee Brewer » Wed May 14, 2008 11:30 am

Robert Lee Brewer
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What's your writing routine?

Postby Robert Lee Brewer » Wed May 14, 2008 11:30 am

"Do you have a writing routine?" That's probably the more appropriate question I should be asking.

I write nearly every day, though not at a pre-determined time and space. For instance, I often scribble notes on Post-Its, receipts, business cards--even paper airplanes. I also have been known to write in airports, department stores, restaurants--even while driving (and still have not had an accident caused by this practice--knock on wood).

I've found that I can write just easily in the morning as the evening, but I'm more likely to keep myself up late writing than I am to wake up early with a breakthrough idea (though it has happened more than once).

Anyway, enough about me. What's your writing routine like?

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Re: What's your writing routine?

Postby madcapmaggie » Wed May 14, 2008 12:38 pm

Um, well, I'm not much into routine, and besides { excuses, excuses} I have a day job. That said, I carry pens and notebooks everywhere so I can jot whatever it is down when inspiration strikes.

Inspiration seems to strike pretty frequently when I'm driving. I've tried writing while balancing my notebook on the steering wheel. This is a really bad idea when driving on route 128 (I live in the Boston area), so I've started taking backroads to work. A few times lately I even pulled over to write whatever it is down. My car is still largely intact and so am I.

If inspiration strikes while I'm walking the dogs (assuming I'm alone -- otherwise I'd be talking ..) I try to repeat it over and over to myself until I can get home and write it down.

I don't usually write much in the mornings -- my writing time is mostly at night, even on the weekends. I recently (like January) got my own laptop and this helps a lot. I still have to get a printer for it, though.

When I write, I usually put things down on paper first, then I put it up on the computer. I store my stuff in Google Documents at the moment, as I'm really paranoid about losing data because:
--I work as a computer software engineer and I've seen company data get destroyed, so I know it can happen.
--I have a lot of computers in my life, and I like to have my stuff accessible.
I have a little file where I track my submissions, but the system is sort of starting to break down because I have so much more stuff now.

How do other people organize their writing (files, folders, tracking stuff, etc). I need help!

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Re: What's your writing routine?

Postby yogachic » Thu May 15, 2008 12:45 am

I , too, don't have much of a routine due to working 2 jobs and family life, but I always have paper and pen in my purse and tend to jot down lots of ideas. Unfortunately, the ideas are plentiful but the time to return to and work with them is limited.

I also write it on paper first and then the computer. Revisions are either made on the paper version or the computer, which ever is more convenient at the time. And I don't have it organized in any particular way either. Each work is saved separately and the file name is written on the paper copy.

Hoping to get a laptop this summer. Maybe things will change then.

Linda H.

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Re: What's your writing routine?

Postby Rox » Thu May 15, 2008 5:07 am

I write every day, usually in the evening because I'm a night person. I have an hour or so before going in to work that I sometimes use for doing online work. For the most part, though, after I've come home and had dinner, etc. I get my second wind around 10pm and write until I'm done. I also carry a 7 3/4x5 notebook around in case I need to jot things down during the day. Weekends I write whenever I'm not working on household chores, etc.

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RE: What's your writing routine?

Postby lilyclarissa » Thu May 15, 2008 7:58 am

I am a night person by nature, but circumstances force me to be a morning person. I do my best writing mid morning and mid afternoon. I do my best revision work late morning. But, once again, life doesn't always accommodate that schedule!

I keep paper and pen with me absolutely everywhere. For you "driving" writers, have you considered getting one of those handheld tape recorders?

I like to write my poems out by hand while sitting on my bed, type them up and print them out. Then I let them "rest" for a few days or weeks. When I'm ready, I start scribbling revisions on the printout; but the bulk of the revisions happen right at the computer. I keep revising, printing, revising, typing, printing, etc. until I'm happy. Then I let the poem "rest" again. I rarely am happy with first or second drafts, although that does happen on occasion. With a hopelessly "bad" poem, I sometimes discover a line or section that still speaks to me, and I will write a new poem with that bit simmering in my mind.

I start writing fiction by hand any old location, but then it's type, type, type. Printout, scribble revisions/corrections, type, printout, etc.

When I write nonfiction, I have to play music and write directly onto the computer.


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Re: What's your writing routine?

Postby PaigeVonLiber » Fri May 16, 2008 8:40 am

I have no specific routine. I seem to have a lot of ideas while driving or riding in a car, thank God for recorders, cause it is way hard to figure out what you tried to scribble while driving. That said I also have been known to write while at work, but this can be dangerous as I loose all concept of time and that's why I try to jot own notes instead. I keep pen and paper by my bed for those gotta write downs moments of sleep.
My mode of writing changes sometimes I use longhand at others a computer, more and more lately I like the pieces that start out longhand and get edited on computer. There is just something about the pen in hand with its flowing ink onto stark paper.

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Re: What's your writing routine?

Postby tonyar » Fri May 16, 2008 4:46 pm

It's interesting that I logged on today and saw this question. I was just thinking this morning that what I had thought would be my routine doesn't make much sense and am changing what I do. I just recently was given the opportunity to stay at home full time, but I'm also the mom of a two year old, so I have to work around her schedule. I am a night person, but I find that when I try to write at night after everyone else is in bed I get sidetracked. So, the last few days I've been writing around 1 pm when my daughter lays down for her nap. So far, it is working out a lot better for me. I don't keep paper to write on when I am out, though I probably should, because I've ended up writing on napkins, receipts and my hand! :-)

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Re: What's your writing routine?

Postby pwilliamswriter » Fri May 16, 2008 6:42 pm

If I'm doing something else, like working for our construction business, I feel like I'm wasting my time. I just want to write and so I carve out every niche I can. My two kids as well as our business dictate how the pieces fall but let's just say on a good day: I write after my morning walk because we really talk a lot so there's lots of material there, then I do laundry, clean, get ready for the day, run errands, pay more invoices, the kids come home, and then it's chaos - friends everywhere - then dinner, bath, bedtime, then I write again until the words just won't come anymore. And after I've said all I can, I turn out the light. So for me, long story always longer than it should be, I plug it in, but always, always, I find time to say something. If I didn't my world wouldn't be right.

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Re: What's your writing routine?

Postby Lorraine Hart » Mon May 19, 2008 5:51 am

I keep notebooks and pens handy everywhere...tried the little hand-held recorders but they just didnae work for me. Poetry has to start with the pen for my juju, revision on the computer...have learned to keep hard copy archives.

I used to be a night writer when I was younger...my first all-nighter was writing a play when I was seven...now I like to get up early and get to some writing with my first few cuppas...whatever it is...just write, start somewhere and see where it leads me...and if it makes me want to come back to it in every spare moment of the day...cool!

Didn't realize how important a tool the pooter was...until mine crashed last week...talk about yer separation anxiety!! Fortunately my pianist couldn't use his because the fan was too noisy for his studio, so he passed it to me...yay!

I've certainly learned that if one tries to block out time for writing...there will be frustration...and little writing...drive-by writings are, at the very least, seeds for later growth. I agree with you Patti...write for the world to be right!

While we're talking about this, I'd like to thank Mrs. McMullen (my high school English teacher) for working with me, all those years ago, so that writing could keep me sane...in a family that put the fun in dysfunctional...the F U in fun! Yes, we like other folks to read our stuff...but we write it for us...because we need to...we're junkies for it...and fit it in anywhere...everywhere.

I could, however, really really use a secretary to keep me organized...a wife to keep me fed and on schedule with everything else!


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