Your Writing Routine



I love the writing of Alexander McCall Smith and here he gives some wonderful answers to questions posed about his writing life .


When he’s writing a novel, Haruki Murakami gets up every morning at 4 am, works for five or six hours, runs 10 kilometers or swims 1500 meters (or both), reads for the rest of the day, and then goes to bed promptly at 9 pm.


He holds this routine for six months to a year, using this repetition as mesmerism to stay inspired. (“I mesmerize myself to reach a deeper state of mind.”)


Could you imagine doing this?


Most writers have such busy lives that they 'fit' their writing into parts of their day or evening.


Zadie Smith has this tip: "Protect the time and space in which you write. Keep everybody away from it, even the people who are most important to you."


Will Self agrees: "The writing life is essentially one of solitary confinement – if you can't deal with this you needn't apply."


Yet J.K. Rowling famously wrote a lot of Harry Potter in cafes, to keep warm, but also I bet to hear the chatter of people from other tables.


I like to listen to music as I write - but I get distracted by lyrics, so classical music or mood music is best for me.


Whatever your writing routine, it's always best to stick to the same times each day or evening to write in. Then you'll be set for the most focused work that you can do.

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