I promise you that I’m not writing these blogs to sound vain, or to try to give the impression that I’m a lot more established than what I am. I’m writing this stuff for myself a lot of the time. If I commit my schedule and method to page (or screen in this instance) then I feel like it’s the next step in my evolution as a writer. The ultimate goal is to have my stuff in book stores across the globe so that maybe I can sit next to Stephen King at some writing ceremony and feel like an even bigger fraud than I do now.
I believe in sincerity that the energy you put out into the world comes back to you in equal amounts; that is the very reason why I’m so pleasant when I meet new people, or I’ll try to put them at ease or make them laugh. I’m putting out into the Universe that I want my skills to be consumed by the people. So, for this week’s blog, here’s my weekly schedule.
DAILY – Regardless of the day, I do the same thing when I sit down to write. It is ritualized, and as someone who suffers from ADD (it’s diagnosed, and I’ll tell you about those struggles in another blog), rituals and routines are paramount to getting anything done. My daily rituals are:
- Turning on my desk lamp and floor lamp …that are less than a foot away from each other. Sure, I could do with one or the other, but I feel like the tandem illumination has mojo, and so I’ll turn them both on.
- I’ll light incense – My go-to is a scent called “Nag Champa.” If I’m out of that, my brother-in-law always brings me jars of Arabic incense called “uda” (I hope I spelled that right); that stuff is really special, so I like to light it sparingly. If I’m all out of incense, I’ll light a smelly candle. The theory is that the smoke filters out any negative energy in my writing space, and the good smells put me in the mood to work.
- Music – I’ll put on something that has a good energy to it, something that makes me feel good to sit down and get to work. I like having as much positive energy in my space as I can. If I’m feeling bad or in a particular bad mood, I’ll walk away from my desk and try to write in another room, I don’t want to contaminate my area with bad vibes. Music communicates vibes of all types, so I’ll usually go with feel good tunes. There are exceptions to the feel good rule; If I’m in the middle of a piece that is exceptionally sad, I’ll play an appropriate soundtrack, but when I’m done I’ll flood the room with upbeat music.
- Review the previous day’s writing – Usually just the words that I wrote the day before. If I tried to review the entire work, I’d never have time to write the next chapters. At this stage, I’m not editing, I’m just reminding myself of where I was going and picking up the feeling I had the day before.
- I type – This is the strictest part of my regimen, because it has to be. Broken Promise Records took three years to write, to be fair I was just writing for the fun of it, but that process had to be revised for best practices. When I start typing, I don’t stop until I meet my word quota. At the end of the year my quota was 500 words, at new years it was 1,500 words, and I’ve recently bumped up to 2,000 words. Your word quota needs to be something that you’re comfortable with. Even if you only wrote 100 words a day, at the end of the year, you’d have 3,650 words. It’s all cumulative.
My weekly schedule is just as finite as my daily regimen:
MONDAY – The library is open on extended hours, so I might not get started until 8 PM, depending on if I have to drop off or pick up a book. Support your local libraries!
TUESDAY – Library overflow day.
WEDNESDAY – I’m usually home from my day job between 6:00 and 6:30. I’ll eat dinner, relax for a moment, and then I’m usually typing away by 7:15 PM.
THURSDAY – While not a fast rule, it seems like Thursdays have become family movie night or a more elaborate dinner than usual. I get my 2,000 words in, but I’m usually working much later.
FRIDAY – Work as usual.
SATURDAY – There are usually plans for the evening, so I’ll get to work on my writing much earlier in the day (9:30 – 10:00 AM) and aim to get done before 3:00 or 4:00.
SUNDAY – I get my 2,000 words in, but it’s usually at the “when I feel like dragging myself to my desk” pace.
When I’ve finished a piece, I like to walk away from it for two to three weeks; distance makes the heart grow fonder and I lose some of the attachment that furious work will bring. There is a lot more clarity to begin editing. Once I’ve made all the edits I’m happy with (takes about a month for a novel), then I’ll send it to people that I trust to read it. Once I get their okay, I’ll either start shopping it to a lit agent or release it independently.
That’s my work flow, thank you for remaining interested enough to read this far! Truly, it wouldn’t be worth doing all of this without your attention, I sincerely appreciate it.