Project 366 / 100 — Writing, routine and the game

I’ve been writing now for 100 days straight. At times it’s been an easy process and at other times not so. Time is such an element too as I don’t have a set time to sit down and write, rather I’m literally snatching whatever time I can get my hands on.

I’ve read a lot of different articles about the writing process, some of which talk about have a set routine first thing in the morning; get up, make a coffee before sitting and writing in peace for 30–40 minutes whilst being relaxed, fresh and not distracted by the day’s events.

My mornings are anything like that. I’m late to bed so am rising later and then there are the kids to get up and ready for school, before a quick shower and school run and getting to work. Yes I could go to bed earlier so I could get up earlier but I’m not getting home from work until 6.30–7.00pm, then eating, then getting the kids bathed and in bed, before training down the gym from 8–10pm and finally getting back home for 10.30pm. I feel that my days of 5am starts (which I did for 20+ years) are behind me now and I’m happy in my new routine.

So my daily writing routine is sporadic. During the week I’ll want to write at some point during the day but it very rarely happens. I have just too many distractions at work and no place of refuge to escape. So I’ll sit there for half an hour at the end of the working day quickly knocking out my blog. If I’m running short of that time then I’ll either write on my phone down the gym whilst warming up on the stationery bike or when I get home before bed. It’s not ideal and certainly not creatively conducive but it does focus the mind.

On the weekends it’s slightly different. My wife knows what I’m doing so I just take myself of for 30 minutes to write. You’ll probably notice then that my weekends writing is longer and deeper.

And that brings me on to length. Another article I read spoke about flow, how the first 100–200 words are actually the hardest and that once you get past that volume the words begin to flow better. This I can totally relate to. My wife calls me a small chunker. By this she means that when I talk I go into detail, almost too much detail. I can be very passionate about what I do so if you’ve leant me your ear then just be warned!

But my best tip to myself is to make notes during the day. So whenever I have a thought that I could use for my blog then I’ll make a note. When I read them back they can be good or they can make me wonder what the hell I was thinking.

But I guess that’s just the game they call writing.

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