Yesterday I had a good writing day.
I got in some good time and made good progress on my book, plus I wrote about a thousand words for a non-fiction piece. So overall, a good writing day. Not necessarily a great one, but a good one.
Part of becoming a better writer is having these good days more often, perhaps every day. The good days should be the norm. Bad days should become less about not writing enough and more about not making enough progress with the plot or not liking what you write.
But how do you have more good days?
One thing that seems to work for me is to write the first thing after I’ve poured myself a cup of coffee. Go straight to my computer and start writing. Have a set time that’s my writing time.
I read once (Or maybe it was a radio interview…) that Toni Morrison wrote every night after she put her kids to bed. She was a single mom, working like crazy, and she still found the time to write Beloved at night. But the point isn’t so much how incredible Toni Morrison is – which she is, but the routine. The time after she put her kids to bed was her writing time.
Accomplished writers all seem to have their routines. Most seem to have a set time every day when they write. Some treat it like it’s a job, which I suppose it is if you’re getting paid for it. They get up, metaphorically or literally go to the office and write. As with so many things in life, becoming a writer is about having a routine.
If you want to become better at something, it’s not only about doing it, every day or almost every day, it’s also about the routine.
Sometimes you settle into these routines whether you realize it or not. When I was training for my marathon, I used to come home from work and go outside and run. I’d run on weekends almost as soon as I got up. So my running times were after work and first thing after I got up on weekends. I didn’t really think about it at the time, but I had my running routine, and it was pretty rare I deviated from it.
So I’m working on developing my writing routine. Writing first thing, seems to be best for me. What works for you depends on your life, but find that time and stick with it. If you do, maybe you’ll be about to go to the writing office, soon.