Originally posted August 24, 2011
I have a routine. I put on music (classical music – channel 866 or classic rock channel 862 on DirecTV) when I’m writing (depending on my mood) or my own personal playlist (the Rocky soundtrack if I’m writing an action sequence or some of my favorite love songs if I’m doing a love scene) and sit down at my laptop. I make sure I have something to drink – water, coffee, or tea – and I make sure the dog has gone out and has toys and snacks at his disposal so I won’t be interrupted.
Then I write.
Routine is important. I need background music for flow. I don’t listen to it, but I hear it, and it keeps me going. I need something to drink nearby because writing hard is exhausting, and it makes me as thirsty as a hard workout does. If I’ve got something to quench my thirst right near my hand, I don’t have to get up, and therefore, I don’t have to break my rhythm. If the dog is placated, I won’t be interrupted, and I can just type.
The familiarity gets me in a groove easier than if I try to write somewhere new everyday. It gets me back in my story faster. And the sooner I’m in the story, the sooner the story is on the page.
Yes, there are benefits to a change in scenery or an interruption or two. If I have writer’s block, changing the music or sitting with my laptop in a cafe or at a park can work wonders. If the plot or characters start wandering in an odd or stagnant direction, a change in my routine can result in a change in my writing – a change for the better. But if things are going well, why mess with the formula?
My recommendation? Find what works for you and stick with it.