My writing routines . . . well, you’ve probably picked up that I’m a severely structured person.
Before I ever begin a project, I mark out the days on the calendar, cross out any travel dates, all Sabbaths, and any other days I won’t be able to work, and then I divide the number of available workdays by the amount of drafts I expect the book to take–usually four or five. Then I print out a work calendar and literally mark each day with “draft one” or “draft 2,” etc.
When I begin each draft, I print out a hard copy and divide the number of pages by the number of days available for that draft. This gives me my editing quota. On the first draft, of course, I’m aiming for number of words, and I usually set of a goal of writing between 5,000 and 7,000, depending on the book’s schedule.
Is that a lot? Most writers think so, but I write fast, sloppy, and lean. The purpose of the subsequent drafts is to fill in the canvas and flesh out the characters. I have a skeleton outline, so I know where I’m going.
My daily routine is fairly simple: up early, breakfast, clean house (a chore or two per day), read newspapers, quiet time, exercise time, shower time, work time. And I stay at work until I’ve finished my assignment for the day, whatever’s on the work calendar. If I spend too much time on other pursuits (email, web surfing, mindless video games), I will be at my desk well into the evening hours. But there’s so little TV worth watching . . .
If I do finish work at a decent hour, I like to kick back and reward myself with a movie–another way to study story. I’ve been a Netflix member for years and love being able to discover films I would never have found if not for the Internet.
And there you have it–not very glamorous, I’m afraid, but a practical method that works and has enabled me to write 115 books in the last 20 years.
Now I’m sure you can find something more interesting to read . . . 🙂