Last month, we heard from over a dozen authors who shared their writing routines with us at Routines for Writers. If there is one clear take-away, it is that there is no one right way to write. Perhaps not even one right way for each person.
When I started to realize that I identified with both the structured writers and the less structured ones, I began to ask myself some hard questions. Am I really as structured in writing as I think I am? If I were, wouldnâ€™t I get more work done? If I tried more unstructured writing methods, would I be more successful?
The advice â€œlearn what works for youâ€ has never seemed more apropos. Because the advice Iâ€™ve been giving myself is not really working.
Iâ€™m a logical thinker in many ways. I worked in various areas of accounting and finance for close to fifteen years. I love playing with numbers, planning trips, and working with budgets â€“ just for fun. So when I started to get serious about writing, I applied the same techniques to writing that brought me success in accounting. While sometimes everything aligns so that Iâ€™m producing massive amounts of work for a while, it doesnâ€™t last. I finish books, but not with a routine or regularity that I can build a writing career on. At least, not according to conventional wisdom.
Which says to me that my routine is not working. More specifically, the way I think about routines and how to choose one for writing is not working.
Last week was the first week of class in my Master of Arts in Creative Writing degree. (Yay!) A very good time to re-think routines. Iâ€™m going to go back over last monthâ€™s guest blogs and highlight the areas that made me stop and think, â€œYes! I get that!â€ Many of those moments popped up when I was reading about the less-structured writers. A bit of a shocker really.
Maybe my creative brain is trying to tell me that the structure Iâ€™m trying to impose on my writing is simply not a good fit. Maybe if I listen carefully, I will hear my brain suggesting some new ideas. I canâ€™t wait to see how this year turns out compared to what I expected when I made my 2010 goals.
What about you? Did you have any ah-ha moments while reading any of the Author Crush blogs? Have you found that the routine you find successful in other areas of your life is or is not successful in your writing life?
Kitty Bucholtz writes light urban fantasy novels, romance novels, magazine articles, and really, anything that comes to mind. She is the co-founder of Routines for Writers (http://www.routinesforwriters.com/ ) and a post-grad student in the Master of Arts in Creative Writing program at University of Technology, Sydney in Australia. Even though she loves talking about, writing about, and teaching about writing, sheâ€™s pretty sure she knows at least three people who arenâ€™t writers.