Routines: Are they as important as everyone says they are?


What I’m reading:  Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith.
What I’m writing:  “Reaping” Scene 2 of Chapter 2

What I’m listening to:  Fighter by Christina Aguilera

Last week I was writing my FAQ page and I came to the question about routines and I realized I didn’t really have one.  But as a SAHM and an author I realized how important it was for me to get one. 

But that may be easier said then done.  Not to mention that last week was spring break, so that meant DD and DS were stuck together in our tiny little house 24/7 for over a week. I have contest entries to judge AND for some masochistic reason, I decided to try and write for script frenzy.   Needless to say I have been extremely stressed out and if it hadn’t been for my year pass to the Orlando Science Center I would probably be bald and rocking myself in the corner.
So, I wanted to talk today a little about routines. Every one says in order to be successful you have to have one.  So I went back over my day and found I did have a routine.  Not much, but one that works for me. 
I get up every weekday morning to take DS to school, then I check my email, play around on the internet until DS and DH wake up, and then make breakfast. 
After DH goes to work, I play with DD until lunch and then naptime.  Here’s where I get 3 lovely, blissful hours of writing time.  This means that if I’m on a role, I can easily pump out a chapter.  If not, well then there’s a lot of staring at my screen and yelling at my characters to “just do something.” 
Then it’s off to pick up DS from school, lord over him to complete his homework and chores, and greet DH when he comes home from work(this last part is extremely important.  😀  If I don’t great DH when he gets home from work, he get’s extremely grumpy).  
After dinner, when the kids are in bed, that’s when I get to read or write, depending on what’s nagging at me the most. It’s usually a little of both.
Weekends are left for the family.  So I usually don’t write.  If the story is flowing really well, then yes, I’ll write, but for the most part I need this time to recharge.
So, do I have a routine?  Yes. But it’s very, very lose and open to interpretation.  What does this mean?  I’m not sure, to be honest.  😀  But I’m thinking it works for me and that I should keep doing it.
And I’m going to say the same for all of you.  If the “routine” you have is working for you, don’t change it because someone tells you you have to.  Each writer, mom, dad, boss, whatever, works the way they need to.  Which is the best way for them.  Find a pattern that works for you and stick with it. 
So, I want to know, what’s your routine? And does it work for you?

4 Responses to “Routines: Are they as important as everyone says they are?”

  1. Liz Czukas says:

    >Very similar to yours. Wake up and catch up on e-mail, Twitter, Facebook, etc while my son plays and does his morning routine. Sneak in as much writing time as I can while he's still quiet. Late morning, run errands or go outside to play. Lunch, then I try to enforce some quiet time for the child (i.e. writing time for me). Then things get a bit more sporadic until bedtime for the boy, when I get my most uninterrupted time to get my writing done. Not to mention entertaining the husband when he gets home (whenever that is).

    It's just barely working for me, but it'll do for now. It's ever-evolving as the boy gets older.

    Good post!

    – Liz

  2. jasouders says:

    >Thanks, Liz. It's interesting how kids change even the simplest things. Isn't it? 😀

  3. slushpilehero says:

    >My routine: get the kids to school, then turn on the computer and try to get a few hundred (or thousand — on rare days) words down before I have to pick the kids up. Interruptions and distractions are everywhere. 🙂

  4. jasouders says:

    >@slushpilehero: Yep that's my day in a nutshell. LOL