Abolishing the writing routine

I shared in an earlier post that having a baby (my son was born a year ago) was the catalyst for learning to write in any small available moment. I was up until recently convinced  that a routine is critical to sustainable writing. So, I never thought that writing in this on-and-off way will ever do for me who before needed to have her desk and a comfortable chair, and then her cup of tea, and the exactly right keyboard, and enough time ahead of her not to feel pressured to produce, and then would figure out that perhaps writing in the library was better because of the fewer distractions, and so on.

This led to perpetually refining my writing habits. For me, to just sit and write in any odd place at any odd time with whatever means were available seemed so uninspiring. This constant fine tuning did bring some satisfaction in the end but also lost countless hours when I could have been writing rather than preparing to write.

I wish I had wizened up before having my son, but I didn’t. And then, after he was born, I spent a lot of weeks rebelling against the unfeasibility of having any kind of a writing routine if I wanted to get some writing done. In the end, I got over myself, I grabbed my laptop one afternoon while my son was having a nap, and I accepted that I will have to stop mid-word did my baby wake.

The relief that followed this short unscheduled writing session was immense. Accepting that, for the time being, the situation was as it was allowed my mind to fully immerse in the words. It was a bit like meditation: when meditating, one needs to accept all the demons running in one’s mind to keep them at bay. I had to stop whining about not being able to write in the manner I wished to, and through acceptance allow myself to be transported by my words into another world no matter how, no matter when, no matter for how long.

2 comments

  1. I’m really glad I stumbled across this article. I’ve just spent the last few days struggling with making myself a rigid writing schedule and failing to stick to it. Honestly, with so many writing guides and sites stressing the importance of routine and schedule, it is nice to know that there are people out there who are thriving without having to stress about timetables and sitting down at their desk at the same time every evening. A really valuable read. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your comment, Andrew. Yeah, timetables stress me out and actually reduce my zest for writing. I don’t think creativity is something that is easily put into a box or a timetable. Thanks again!

      Like

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