So, here’s the thing: I don’t have a writing routine per se. Hell, I don’t have a writing schedule. I just write when I have the energy/mental capacity to do so and most of the time, it’s on the weekends.
For the sake of this blog post, I’ll just share my writing ritual from two different locations: the Barnes & Noble Starbucks and at home.
Barnes & Noble
Most of the time, I go to the Starbucks at Barnes & Noble. When I walk through those doors, I head straight for the YA section where the horror books reside (Fantasy/Sci-Fi) then I just scour through the last names listed in alphabetical order. Then I just visualize my book being right before Emily Duncan’s Wicked Saints trilogy (like I do with JK Rowling, I acknowledge Emily as a writer, but not as a person).
Next, I go to my spot at the Starbucks Café (my table is always…and miraculously available) then I lay out my mini writing station:
- Writing gloves,
- Pen and notebook, and
- Noise-cancelling headphones.
Then I order my usual coffee (venti chai tea latte with vanilla and almond milk) and sit down to begin writing. Because I get easily distracted, I turn on my DARK EXPOSURE playlist first with my noise cancelling headphones on then set up the Forest app to minimize all distractions.
When at the Barnes & Noble Starbucks, I get a lot of writing in… but it’s different at home.
At home, I get up and make my coffee (or lately my vanilla chai tea with almond milk and honey). Then I refer to my white board propped on my desk which has what needs to be done listed on its surface.
Before I dive into the actual writing, I do administrative stuff first. This includes:
- Checking my email,
- Checking on my website and making notes on updates that need to be made,
- Reviewing Twitter and Publishers Lunch to see what’s going on in the Publishing Industry,
- Checking QueryTracker to see what notes have been made about agents I want to query next year,
- Researching for my next scene (or next book idea), and
- So much more
Then the real writing begins.
Writing at home can have its benefits and disadvantages. For starters, it’s not as distracting as Barnes & Noble. It’s quiet and the coffee is free. Plus, I can wrap myself in my blankets and turn on the fire if needed.
I usually try to write at my desk. But lately, I’ve found myself writing on the couch in front of the fire, on my little patio if it’s nice outside, or at the kitchen bar where I have more room to write my notes.
The disadvantage of writing at home is getting easily distracted by chores. But there’s a benefit to it. If I’m stuck on a sentence or a scene, I can step away, work on something else then come back to it. I can’t exactly do that at the Barnes & Noble Starbucks.
However, both locations share one major common element: the outfit I wear. On any day I know I’m going to write, I put on either workout leggings or regular ones, comfy shoes (sneakers or boots) and an olive-green t-shirt that reads: ALL GOOD STORIES SERVE A PURPOSE – a quote from Courtney Summers’s novel, The Project. And on top of this shirt, I wear a comfy loose long cardigan sweater.
So, there you have it. My dysfunctional yet functional-for-me writing routine.