Writing Routines

When I visit schools and libraries, the inevitable comment arises from aspiring authors (adults and children alike):  I want to write, but I can’t get started. Sometimes they say it’s hard to find the inspiration or motivation to write.  Well, “Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration,” as Thomas Edison said. It may not sound glamorous, but in my experience I’ve seen that writing is about routine. If you sit around waiting for inspiration to wash over you, you may be sitting there for quite some time!

Writing every day is key, setting aside a regular time of day—even if it’s just for an hour—even if you don’t really feel like it. Before you know it, you’ll see that you can create your own inspiration and motivation. I don’t have to wait for inspiration anymore. When I’m writing actively, it comes when I call it—while I’m writing and throughout the day.

Set aside some time every day just for your writing, and write no matter what. It’s not as romantic as waking up in the middle of the night and writing your heart out in a fury of inspiration until the sun rises, but I bet you’ll get a lot more writing done!

Tina Turbin



Posted in Advice, writing
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7 Responses to Writing Routines

  1. Denise Jacobs says:

    Thanks so much for this bit of advice! I am an aspiring children’s writer too and it’s always so hard to sit down and write when I’m not inspired because I’m afraid it’s going to turn out bad, but I was just on Judy Bloom’s website the other day and she says the same thing too. So I’ll give it a try just writing a little bit each night and see how it goes!

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Ah! I know I should write more but it seems like I’m so busy that I never have any time to and when I do sit down I just don’t know what to write! I recently joined a local writers group and it seems like the ones who write the most say they have a set schedule of writing every day. I guess I just need to sit down and do this!

  3. Silvie says:

    I think you’re so right about this. This is the only way I get any writing done, or anything at all even. Like working out or working even. I used to have a job where I could come in anytime (a sales position), and boy did I take advantage of it! I was hardly there! And with working out, if I don’t have a set schedule or routine then I will usually find a million different excuses not to go! The same is true of writing.

  4. Helena Robison says:

    Hi Tina you’re so right this is exactly what I need–to get on a writing routine. Sigh! I just don’t know when I’m going to fit it in. I think though that if I just wrote for 30 mins once a day that would make quite a difference because that’s like 2 1/2 hours a week instead of ZERO so I will probably just get up a little earlier so I can make this happen. Thanks so much for these writing tips!

  5. Norma Barry says:

    Thank you so much for posting this blog. My daughter Sara is a huge Danny the Dragon fan and she wants to make picture books to when she’s older. I told her she doesn’t have to wait! I read this post with her and she was like, “Mommy I need a writing routine too!” It was so cute!

  6. Hailey says:

    My writing routine is to sit down for 5 minutes, surf the internet, and then get up and do something else. LOL! Ahhh! I need better self-discipline! I think I’m going to try that SelfControl download to help!

  7. Zoe M. says:

    Hi Tina you are certainly right about the necessity of a routine but this applies not just to writing but anything that’s important to you. For instance, I am a body builder and I spend 2 1/2 hours every morning before work training. I have to have that routine there or I’ll let my self-discipline go.

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