I am a creature of habit with an almost monk-like dedication to my writing routine–which will become very obvious once you take a peek at my office! It’s always been important for me that I have a writing space that is super functional, private, and cozy because I spend so much time there every day. Luckily, I have managed to snag a whole room in my house just for writing. It was once my children’s playroom, but the moment I decided to write full time, I staged a coup and took it over! Basically, the space is divided into three separate work stations:
An area to brainstorm and plot (I have slowly become a crazy plotter over the years and like to think of this wall as my FBI/Police-type case wall, the kind you see on murder shows with all the photos and strings leading from one clue to another):
Most days, I start the day ferrying children. With two kids in two different schools in two different districts nearly thirty miles apart, this takes hours. Once I get back home, I spend approximately 5 hours in my office working before I start afternoon kid pickups. I usually use all three of my zones daily and my writing routine looks like this:
Morning pages–if you don’t know what these are read The Artist’s Way–you’ll be glad you did! It’s like a creative palette cleanser, an emptying of all the stuff that clutters my thoughts and might hamper my creativity.
Daily to do’s and goal setting–I keep monthly and weekly goals and spend a little time each day going over them and assessing where I’m at.
Writing Prep–I spend some time going over plot/story outline details so I know what I need to include in the day’s scenes.
Meditation Time–which can sometime turn into a quick nap since by now I’ve usually been up for five hours! I try to focus on the day’s writing and get myself into my character’s head.
Writing Time–I do writing sets, usually 3 to 4 thirty-minute sessions broken up by small 5 or 10-minute breaks when I do a walk lap around my block to get my blood moving and some much needed sunshine! I shoot to reach my daily word goal which is about 2,500 words before I stop, but there are days where I don’t reach it. When that happens, I will try to make up the deficit over the weekend when my daily word count is only 1,000 words.
Miscellaneous Tasks–this time includes answering emails and phone calls, taking a training course on craft, completing blog posts, reading, brainstorming new story ideas, or working on developing my next planned novel–depending on how much time I have left.
It’s a pretty structured routine, but I’ve found that it’s the best way for me to stay as productive as possible. When you work from home it’s easy to get distracted by chores that need doing, phone calls from friends or relatives, etc. Having a daily expectation in place for what I need to accomplish keeps me from wasting time and making sure that my writing space is comfortable and inviting helps give me incentive to keep my butt in the chair and helps make my writing time more pleasure than pain.
We’re giving away a copy of Amy Christine Parker’s Gated, Astray, and Smash & Grab. To enter: Comment on our Instagram Post/FB Post and let us know which one you’re excited to read!
Amy Christine Parker earned her degree in elementary education at Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida, and then proceeded to try out many different jobs, including collectible doll maker, fondue waitress, and inner-city schoolteacher. It wasn’t until she became a mom and began making up bedtime stories for her children that she finally realized what she was meant to do. Now Amy writes full-time from her home near Tampa, Florida, where she lives with her husband, their two daughters, and one ridiculously fat cat. She is the author of the novels, GATED and ASTRAY. Visit her at amychristineparker.com.