Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Writerly Routines

Most folks have routines that get them going no matter what sort of work they do.
Most writers I know, or know of, do their creative work in the morning. If writing is in addition to their day job, this means very early morning.

No matter when or what, routines help. It’s unglamorous. Admitting that you don’t write drunk into the wee hours of the night with existential despair as page after page is scrapped because you won’t give up until you have something--- doesn't sound arty.
(Oh-so very unlike Dashiell Hammett, at least as depicted in Lillian Hellman’s Pentimento.)

Most writers have a set routine and write no matter where inspiration chooses to dwell any given day. Most workers go to work no matter how enthusiastic they feel at a particular moment. Same thing.

© Luci Gutierrez for the New Yorker

My morning routine is as uninspiring as it is grounding. With small necessary adjustments, it generally goes something like this:

*Woken up by Nougat, one of my three cats. She thinks she’s an alarm clock.
*Thanking her, and thanking G-d for returning my soul to me. It’s a Jewish prayer that sets the day right.
*Making my bed. The other cats come in to help, with great merriment for all.
*Cleaning litter boxes, changing water bowls, filling the food bowls. Felines have priority because of all their help.
*Making strong tea with foamy milk. Drinking it, doing my best to keep cats off the foam.
*A short meditation. It’s supposed to be quiet time, but the cats determine this as well.
*Turn on the computer. Open WORD.
*I’m ON IT.

Two hours or so later, DH gets up and the rest of the day commences. That means coffee, breakfast, and the busy-busy stuff.

Do you have routines to get going?


  1. Sounds like you have a good routine, Mirka. I have a morning routine, but I can't say that it's intention is to get me set on my writing.

  2. You have a good routine and it's wonderful how your felines help. The best help! I'm also a creature of habit; unfortunately my writing involves a fair bit of procrastination...I blame the kitties.

  3. "I blame the kitties."
    They give, and they take. ;)

  4. Yes, I too, think it's funny how your cats help determine your morning ritual. Glad you have some quiet time in there, too. My writing ritual time is at night. After supper, I write if I'm on assignment, and all day Saturday usually.

    1. You're one of the few I know who writes at night, Tina. I know how full your mornings & days are. SuperWoman!

  5. I guess that makes me glamourous - I can only write anything decent at night when I should be going to bed (though not while drunk haha!)! In the morning I'm a zombie who can only do things like answering emails, catching up on newsletters and critiquing other people's work.