Justine: Odd Habits of Writers

ernest hemingway, writing, writing life, writing habits, eight ladies writing, justine covington

Ernest Hemingway in late 1939. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Last Monday, my kids (finally!) went back to school. Since then, I’ve gotten back to the serious work of writing. By that, I mean quantifiable output and multiple, contiguous hours at the computer each day. Because I’ve been spending so much time on my book in this first week of “back to school,” I haven’t spent much time on my blog post.

I started thinking today about my daily work process:

  • Up at 5:30, shower and dress, make the kids’ lunches and breakfast and pack up their backpacks, then out the door at 7 a.m. to shuttle them to school.
  • Home by 8 and (ideally) at the computer by 8:15.
  • I’ll work pretty steady until lunchtime, then it’s either a couple more hours of writing or tae kwon do.
  • Once I pick up the kids, any semblance of writing goes out the window, although I have found that I can pre-plan scenes I need to write while my kids are in their own tae kwon do classes in the late afternoon.

While reflecting on my own schedule, I wondered what other writers do each day and was amazed at the variety, the consistency, and in some cases, the physical activity these famous writers engage in each day. You can read about them here.

What is your usual writing schedule?

5 thoughts on “Justine: Odd Habits of Writers

  1. My schedule hits the skids when I’m in Wisconsin with my mom, when I write whenever I can but it’s not regular. When I’m home, though, I write an hour a day without fail before I start work. That’s the only way I know for sure I’ll get the writing in.

    • There are several writers in my local RWA chapter who do the same thing. They’re also holding down full-time jobs (and sometimes kids). Good that you do it right away…it’s too easy to put it off later in the day.

  2. What an amazing link, Justine! (-: Looks like you are doing a good, solid Ben Franklin with your writing.

    Hmmm, my writing habits? Well, I would like to be a Ray Bradbury — where the writing schedules me, not me scheduling the writing. I would settle for being a Charles Dickens (where did I see his schedule? Writing in the morning, publicity in the afternoon, very ordered. Best I could find was this blurry infographic: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/16-routines-successful-creative-people/). But I think deep down, I’m very Jack Kerouac, ready to depend on superstition and tricking myself in order to write.

    One thing that really jumps out at me is the amount of physical activity writers often seem to put into their schedule. Sound body, sound mind. Every time I read something like this, I vow to do better about being more active.

    • I was also intrigued by the regular physical exercise many of the writers engaged in. I (try to) do tae kwon do 2-3 times a week, but that’s it. Some of these guys were swimming or running every day! I know my husband loves to run…it’s how he processes everything going on in his mind and how he works out his problems. I believe Kat is a fan of swimming for the same reason.

      As for my schedule, I’m trying to do a Ben Franklin, but kids throw a wrench in there. I just do the best I can, which is about all we can do, right?

  3. Pingback: Michaeline: Ready, Steady, Go! | Eight Ladies Writing

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