The tips to help you achieve this often include helpful tips such as getting up early, having calendars to mark off when you've written, write the same time every day, set aside hours of time to achieve your word count goals, and similar ideas.
Most of these ideas are quite unhelpful to me. They seem to assume that you have hours every day to devote to writing and that you have a supportive someone who can work to pay the bills, look after kids, etc. Or your writing is generating enough income so you don't need a day job.
Lately I've learned that it's great to have goals and diarise writing time, however, I have also learned that life changes and things don't always go to plan. Your writing routine has to be flexible.
Earlier this year, my older son ended up in hospital in extreme pain. There was a week when no writing happened. He is still in pain and has multiple appointments per week. Juggling that with work and getting my other son to school and activities usually results in little writing being done, and especially not every day. Getting up early to write is not going to happen either - I'm too tired.
I have found another writing routine. This usually involves setting aside some time on the weekend to sit in my favourite cafe and write. I'm incredibly productive in these times and have been known to write 2,000 words in a session!
The fact I don't write every day doesn't make me any less of a writer. In a discussion with another author, she pointed out that writing is a job, just like any other job, and we're entitled to some time off or even working part time. Just like any work situation, there is no one size fits all approach to writing. Different routines work for different people, but no matter what, we need to be flexible with these routines because life can often get in the way of the best laid plans.
|One of my writing sessions - over dinner!|
She writes flash fiction as well as middle grade novels. You can follow her writing journey at www.melissawrites.com.au and www.melissagijsbers.com