People often ask me what my writing routine is…

I think the most important thing over the more than a decade of writing has been consistency and finding that routine.  When I initially began writing I would sit down on a Friday night and write for a couple of hours… then post.

In those days, and you can tell by the quality of my writing (up and down) that I did little editing or proofreading before posting.

My early years of writing centered around finding my routine and creating the discipline of writing and publishing every week…

I can forgive myself as I was finding my feet and learning the art of writing.   To this day, I would say that I’m more of a conversationalist or storyteller than a writer, but maybe I’m splitting hairs!

Many of my early essays were related to my life adventures or sometimes childhood memories.  Strangely, there has never been a shortage of topics to write about.

A good way describes my writing would be to class it as eclectic!  (Yeah, be kind – that’s your outside voice!)

No two stories the same, albeit sometimes with similar themes over the years.

This is also due to my irrepressible and fertile mind as it’s always churning away.

Much like my photography when images present themselves to me to be taken, it’s a bit like that with my writing.

Over the course of the week, leading up to me sitting down to write there lots of topics floating around in my head but generally nothing truly sticks until I sit down to write.

Well, that is until I sit down on Sunday morning and spend the next 3 – 4 hours creating the following weeks essay.

Like with many writers sometimes the stories write themselves with little time spent, and yet other times it takes a lot more time to create and edit.

When I find myself in a moment like this, I often take a walk outside, or make a cup of tea.  Something to relax my mind so I can refocus when I sit back down.

Indeed, there are some weeks where it literally takes me the entire week to complete the essay.  Strangely, it’s never a labour of love, but something I look forward to each week.

It’s time just for me!

A time when my routine takes over and I can immerse myself in the act of writing.

I also find the nature of my topics to be quite thought provoking.  Clearly, these stories could be written many ways, but it’s always been important for me to find my voice and point of view.

Invariably, there will always be some people who don’t like my style or a specific topic and that’s okay.

I’m not everyone’s “cup of tea” if you know what I mean.

As a writer, my goal is to write a story true to my beliefs and style, and not pigeonhole myself into a specific theme or topical areas that limit my ability to write freely.

One of the most important aspects of writing is developing your consistency and discipline as a writer.

I’ve known many excellent writers that find it difficult to commit to a schedule as they prefer to let their creative juices dictate their writing timetable.

Invariably, what tends to happen with this approach is that they become distracted with life and find themselves writing infrequently.   Which they often find rather frustrating!

They’re always curious as to my secret.

Well, there is no special or secret sauce other than committing to the act of writing and strictly sticking with your publishing schedule.   No, if, and’s or but’s on this front.

If I know that I will be away travelling or on a plane somewhere I pre-publish and schedule my campaign delivery in advance.

This is made infinitely easier with tools like Mail Chimp and others to help you publish.  As well, my website has WordPress natively embedded into it so it’s easy to write and publish.

Writing is no different to that of an Olympic athlete and their training regime.

It’s commonly believed that many Olympians or professional athletes have spent in the vicinity of 10,000 hours refining their craft prior to reaching the pinnacle of their careers.

I realize I still have a ways to go as if I do the rough math with my writing I’m at somewhere around 5,000 hours spent so far…

Only another decade or so to go!

For me it’s less about the statistics and more around the enjoyment that writing provides me.  There is no question that it’s my happy place.

So what does it take?

It’s about committing yourself to writing each week and creating a routine that is specific to you.

Secondly, is to write with abandon (well, for me at least) and find topics that you want to write about.

I think the final aspect is finding your voice and discovering an audience of like minded individuals that your stories resonate with on a consistent basis.

And finally, worry less about what people think, and more about the overall enjoyment that it brings to you personally.

“Your life is a story.  Write well.  Edit often”

Until next week