I got writer's block a lot. I got worse-than-writer's-block: I tried to force my stories along a track they frankly did not want to follow. I spent miserable months pounding out a story, telling my friends, "Yeah, it's going great. A few-- um-- minor bumps. But yeah. It's great."
It was not great. I honestly can't believe I kept writing through those years.
But I did, and things are much better. I still struggle frequently with writer's block, though, and I'm always on the lookout for new ways to trick myself through it. Recently, via David Farland's Writing Tips (which I recommend), I came across this quote by Ernest Hemingway:
“The best way [to avoid writer’s block] is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next. If you do that every day when you are writing a novel you will never be stuck.”This quote changed my entire writing routine.
I now sit in my room with the door closed and the lights off. I have a glass of water on my desk by my computer. I tie my hair back with a ribbon, in the style of Violet Baudelaire, and I wear earplugs because my sister is a rock musician and practices loudly all the time.
I write 2,000 words. It usually takes me forty-five minutes. This is less than I did with my awkward, unscheduled routine. Even when I know exactly where the story is going, and I'm on a role, and I am dying to get on with it, I stop. Because that means I'm antsy and excited to keep writing tomorrow-- which means I'll sit down again at the same hour and write another 2,000 words.
I also have made another change in my schedule: I don't write on weekends anymore. I think this is the part I'm finding the hardest. Weekends used to be my main writing time. But this year, I've allotted time in my school day for writing, so I force myself to take weekends to give my creative muscles a rest.
With this new routine, I'm writing 10,000 words a week-- much more than I ever wrote before, and I'm loving it. What about you, reader? Do you have a writing routine to share?