Writing Routine

I tend to find it extremely interesting to read about the writing habits of other writers and so I thought that the writers in the audience may enjoy reading about my writing routine. Not that I actually have any real writing routine, so to speak, but I’ll talk about my habits nonetheless.
    Firstly, there are the regular posts here on the Trusty Water Blog. I never write an entry in advance, I always write them on the day (except book reviews, which are nearly always written on the day I finish a book and then saved). I suppose it seems a little reckless, but I’ve been doing this for over three years now and I still manage to find time on every update day. I took a break from updating for a couple of weeks in the early days because my laptop broke (if that happened now, I wouldn’t stop) and other than that, I’ve only missed an update once so, I’m quite proud of that. Usually I have three vague ideas for the entries at the start of the week and then they may or may not end up being what I write. Sometimes I’ll just be talking to a friend and then I’ll be reminded of something that happened to me and then that’ll be the entry for that day.
    Then there’s the second of my ‘public’ works, the Finger Puppet Show. Unlike my blog, I fairly often do this in advance. Usually, at the start of a week I’ll have the two strips already uploaded and ready to be automatically posted at 12 p.m. on Wednesday and Friday. Last summer, I actually had ten weeks’ worth of strips ready and waiting. That’s not to say I’ve never been up late the night before getting one finished! Oddly, despite it being a rather childish thing about talking animals, the inspiration for these often comes from real life. Sometimes I’ll be in a conversation with a group of people and somebody will say something and then I’ll think “Wouldn’t it be funny if somebody replied with …” and then I make that into a comic strip. At the moment, this might be the most fulfilling writing I do.
    Finally, there’re my short stories. I’ve written 240 short stories of varying quality since 2004 and the 241st is in progress. As I like to list things, I noticed that when I started writing this blog, I also started writing fewer short stories, presumably because my creative energy had to be spread over a broader area and I’ve noticed that I’ve been producing fewer still since I started the Finger Puppet Show. Sometimes I’ll think to myself that I need to focus less on the Trusty Water Blog and Finger Puppet Show and focus more on my ‘real’ writing, but I quickly reassure myself that that’s silly. First and foremost writing should be a pleasure and if you’re forcing yourself in any direction, your writing might be of lower quality. At the moment, I’ll usually go weeks without doing any of this ‘real’ writing but then I’ll get an idea, and these ideas usually come at about 3 a.m. and keep me up for hours, then the next day I’ll write it all in one go, no matter how long it turns out. On the other hand I am currently working on a story that I’ve been slowly adding to for the last month or so. It’s an idea I really like, but I always find myself doing other things, so I should probably focus on it more.
    I so often think to myself that I don’t write enough, but I don’t worry about it for long. Every writer I’ve known has expressed similar concerns to me about themselves at different times, and I think I know why. I tend to find that I just have an infinite number of ideas and no matter how much I write I still have loads of new ideas. Perhaps I, and others, feel that I don’t produce work because any amount is small next to infinity. I’m sure this is true of most other artists (not just writers) too.

(Don’t miss today’s Finger Puppet Show!)

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