Getting Ready to Write

by jeanieransom on April 28, 2010

I know that having a writing routine is important. But I’d never really thought about having a pre-writing routine until recently. According to Kelly L. Stone, author of Thinking Write, a pre-writing routine signals your brain that it’s time to write. It can be as simple as making a cup of coffee, taking a walk, or turning on a particular song on your iPod. But it should be the same action, every time you get ready to write.

Having a pre-writing routine makes sense. When you get ready for bed, letting the dog out, locking the doors, and brushing your teeth all signal your brain that it’s time to sleep. You may have other rituals to make it easier to transition from waking time to sleeping time. Why should writing be any different?

Think about what you do now before sitting down to write. Do you check your email, go on Facebook, read the paper, or do housework? Nothing wrong with any of those things, as long as you keep an eye on the clock. I’m as guilty as anyone of letting time get away from me. I’m also guilty of using any and all of the above activities to put off my writing. By being mindful of that, I’ve found that limiting my pre-writing routine to fifteen or twenty minutes allows me to check email, make a cup of coffee and gather my writing supplies.

Whatever your pre-writing routine, if it works for you, stay with it. But if, like me, you weren’t aware of the existence — or the importance – of having a pre-writing routine, you may want to check out Stone’s Thinking Write. Create something that works for you – I’d love to hear about it!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Lori Galaske July 15, 2010 at 5:09 pm

What a great idea! I thrive on routine, and some time ago I determined that I would do a free-write exercise for 5 – 10 minutes as a warm up for the main event each time I sat down to write. I think I actually did it twice. Until I read your blog, I’d totally forgotten about it. Thanks for the reminder! I think I need to come up with something for my writing routine prior to my free-write exercise . . . I like the cup of coffee (or glass of tea) idea.
Thanks again for your time and input this weekend. It was invaluable!

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