Monday, March 3, 2014

Write Habit

I am an artist at heart. I beat to my own drummer and find it very difficult to follow the same routine everyday. After high school, I didn't have a 7am-5pm day like most people. Between college, grad school, and my life as a surveyor, I had a pretty flexible schedule. If it was sunny, I went outside. If it rained, I stayed in, but when I became a teacher, that all changed. Following my second week of teaching, I asked my mentor how she dealt with being at the same place every day at the same time. Her answer, "You get used to it."


Three years later, I got used to it, more or less, but my creative process lacked. I spent so much time grading papers and developing lesson plans, I didn't read or write anything on my own. Sure, I read Catcher in the Rye, To Kill a Mockingbird, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, Into the Wild, The Outsiders, Julius Caesar, and a handful of others, dozens of times, but I didn't read much on my own. By the end of the day, my brain was fried and the pillow called my name. Occasionally, I wrote down an idea on scrap paper or in a composition book, but that was it.


Then my son came, followed by my two daughters, and I entered my Reading Renaissance. I devoured books as if I hadn't eaten in years. After the babies were asleep, I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning, to read. When my reading craving was temporarily sated, epiphany struck.
It was time for me to write.The graveyard shift and I became BFFs. Starr Fall spilled onto the page and when my eyelids finally drifted closed each evening, I saved my ten to twenty pages and went to bed and prayed the next day, I'd get a chance to write more.


Writing became a habit to me.


A habit, I cannot, will not break. Not in a boat, not in a car, not in a house, now let me be... (My Ode to Dr. Seuss) Some days I write more than others. Occasionally a day or two goes by when I don't write, but more than likely, I am stuck in a book.


Make your ART a habit.


Schedules don't work for me. The moment I roughly outline a schedule for the day or the week, I find myself breaking it. The rebel in me hates schedules. So, I don't write down when I plan to write. I just do it.


My Writing days look like this: 2 to 3 days a week


6:30 am - 7:00 am  Browse my email, Facebook, Twitter, and the Weather Channel, then officially get out of bed, take care of pets, turn on laptop, drink a soy chai latte
7:00 am -7:50 am     Journal (a new 10 min. habit) or read or work on current WIP (Work in Progress) or blog
7:50 am - 9:00 am     Kid time, drop off at school
9:00 am -10:30 am   Work out and Brain Dump
10:30 am -11:00 am  Eat breakfast, Shower
11:00 am - 3:15 pm   WRITE (My ideal time frame, but it doesn't always work out.)
3:15 pm - 8:00 pm     Kid time
8:00 pm - ???(10-1)    Write or Read or TV time (Thursday nights: Vampire Diaries and Reign--purely research. Honest. The occasional Criminal Minds or Big Bang Theory)              


**WRITE*** times: I write. I research something on Google, than shut down the internet.


Dedicate time to your craft without distractions.


*Write* times: I blog, tweet, Facebook, or browse around in addition to my WIP.


My substitute teaching days, I try to read in the morning a bit, revise during my prep periods, and then I generally stay up late to write.


Protect your writing time fiercely.


Here's my Ink Sister, Donna's schedule. It is a struggle to dedicate time solely to your craft, but you MUST do it.
Did you notice the Clean house? Yeah, I laughed too. I told her she makes me look bad;)


What's your Write Habit?


Write on,
Kim