Has anything about your writing routine changed since you first began?
I should say it has! Perhaps that is not for the better. When I first began writing (well when I first began with the idea of being published) my life was a lot different. At the time I was living in a downtown apartment with my three young kids. The only television we had was a tiny 13 inch Spongebob set which was a hand-me-down from a friend. That television didn’t pick up any channels. We did have a dvd player which we were able to hook up to it and then we’d walk to the library which was only two and a half blocks from our house. Most of the movies that we watched were older. We did have Netflix on my laptop which sometimes I would reward myself late at night with some British television. When I first began writing I would tuck my older two kids into bed. Then I’d get Wyatt settled into his little toddler bed in the corner of my room. With the lights off I’d sit on my bed and begin to write. I’d stay there writing until at least one in the morning. Often times I would write until two or three. If Wyatt woke during that time he would snuggle into my bed with me and we would put Netflix on my laptop. He would drift back off to sleep while watching BBC shows or watching Riverdance on YouTube. Once he fell back asleep, I’d often let him sleep where he was while I’d open my document back up and continue writing. I would write until I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. Then I’d put Wyatt back into his bed and get a few hours of sleep myself. I always wrote in a dark room with music playing in the background.
A few years ago when I became ill I started having difficulty staying up late. I was constantly falling asleep during the day. I really couldn’t stay up late at night. I began to try to write during the day. That has not worked out so well for me. My creativity has always flowed better at night. Even when I was a little girl. I would write my stories and poems after the sun set. I have tried writing in my dining room which has very little light, during the day and it is not the same. I need the quiet and the stillness of the night in order to let my stories just flow. While I am capable of staying up later now that my health is better than it was (unless I am having a flare-up) I find that I often don’t. I have gotten so used to going to bed at an earlier time. Often within an hour of my kids going to bed. I still write with music going in the background. Now I have the distraction of a large television set which has cable channels. I have excellent internet service that allows me to surf the web, I have the distraction of animals who always seem to want my attention (the dog likes to wedge himself between myself and the computer every time I sit down to write). I find that often I allow these things to distract me when I do get some free time to try to write.
The past few weeks have been better though. I have been writing more than I had been. I turn the power strip off of my television so I actually have to cross the room to turn it on if I want to watch it, which often times will have me turn to writing instead. While I still find I need the quiet and dark of night to write well I have figured that I can write some during the day. During those daylight hours I typically write articles for work but now that the sun is setting around eight again I find that I have some time to write before my eyes are too tired to stay open. By limiting the distractions that I have I find I’m able to write more.
Perhaps I should try to get my writing routine back to what it used to be.