Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Getting back to the routine #amrevising #amplotting


I’ve been back home from my glorious writing reunion retreat with my Writing Sisters, and falling back into the routine. You know, the coffee, work, procrastinate, write, chill, rinse and repeat.

Same ol’, but predictable, and comforting in the “routine-ness” of it. Although, there are parts of a retreat I would love to translate to my everyday–no TV (well, no news other than the weather and the “feel good” stories about people being nice and helping people or animals), plotting help, and time to just write.

Escaping the everyday routine is something everyone needs to do on a regular basis. Seriously. It reminds a person that routines are good for keeping the regular tasks–like working or cleaning–in the pipeline, but it sure is nice to escape routine and just do the stuff that doesn’t always fit into the everyday (even if it should).

I once spoke to a well-known writer (William Kent Kreuger) during one of those out-of-the-daily-routine events (Left Coast Crime). He had his computer at a small table in a corner and was typing away. I asked him about it. He said he writes every single morning, whether he’s at home or on the road.

That’s my dream, to set a routine that even hitting the road won’t break. I might have to wait, though, simply because real life doesn’t think I should be that scheduled. It works much better during the winter when the garden isn’t a factor; I usually dedicate time in the evenings to writing. And I’ll bet it’ll work even better after I retire (if I can retire by then).

Hmm. When I started this post, my thought was to talk about plotting, and how valuable my Writing Sisters are when it comes to helping with story ideas. They managed to expand my long short story into a novella, and got me started plotting for Book 3. *looks around for Muse* I’ll have to save that for next week, I think.

Speaking of routines and how rude real life is when it comes to incorporating (shoehorning?) my creative endeavors into the time not occupied by necessities like work and sleep (and cleaning and meals and gardening), those out-of-the-routine events don’t escape blame. All those things we writers do to get our name out there, like conventions (Bouchercon, I’m looking at you) and book fairs and other author events, do their part in tossing rocks in the gears. I’m reading books from the other authors on my panel for B’con because I’m a backup moderator. I probably won’t need to step in, but just in case, I’m prepping.

They say “schedule a time that is sacrosanct for your writing.” Yeah, and tell all the rest of the stuff that HAS to get done to come back later. This weekend means cleaning (gawd, I’ve put it off long enough), two more batches of pickles, and finishing up a panelist’s book and starting another, because B’con is a mere 4 weeks away.

So looking forward to my personal writing retreat in October! And NaNo. My legit reasons to shun all the rest of the “stuff that needs to get done” and just focus on writing.

Take time to focus on writing, but also give yourself some leeway–real life doesn’t stop, and sometimes (often) it’s too important at the time to set aside (like family, job, cleaning (there is a point when you just have to do it), sleep). Do what you can when you can, and be okay with that. You may not release two novels a year (or even one novel in two years), but that time for writing is valuable.

Now to follow my own suggestion.

Happy Writing!

Tibbers and Nyx looking like they’re pretending to be innocent (but we know better πŸ™‚ )

Author: Julie Holmes, author

A fiction writer since elementary school (many years ago), and NaNoWriMo annual participant for over a decade, I have been published in small press magazines such as "Fighting Chance" and "The Galactic Citizen". I write adult mystery with a touch of romance, mystery with extrasensory elements, contemporary fantasy, and epic fantasy, and I'm represented by the fabulous Cynthia Zigmund of Second City Publishing Services. My debut novel, "Murder in Plane Sight", has been released by Camel Press (an imprint of Coffeetown Press/Epicenter Press). In real life, I am a technical writer and empty-nester with a wonderful hubby, one cat (what writer doesn't have cats??), two dogs, five chickens, and more chipmunks, squirrels, and rabbits than any garden should have to deal with. My garden, our hobby farm, and Nature's annual seasons are some of my muses.

7 thoughts on “Getting back to the routine #amrevising #amplotting

  1. I’m happy for you, Julie, that you had that break from your routine and that you’re back to that routine. You’re right, in my opinion, that we need both. Those breaks fuel creativity; that routine hones those ideas so we can use them. I really like it that you had the chance to get ideas from other authors, and can now use them for yourself. Hope the writing goes well!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Go, Julie! Creativity is seeded by variety. Everything you’re doing is exactly what you should be doing. Enjoy! It was great seeing you at the retreat. I’m also reading books by my panelists and enjoying that self-assigned distraction.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was so great to see you, too! I love how our collective creative energies help all of us with our brainstorming, and plotting, and critiquing–it’s fantastic! See you in a month at Bouchercon!

      Have a wonderful week, Chris!


  3. My writing routine is nonexistent, ATM, so cheers to you for all that you do!
    Hello, kitty kitties. Which one of you wants a tummy rub first? Meow!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You, my dear, have plenty going on (how many teenagers? and JuJitsu (man, I need to catch up with your posts))! I marvel at you and the sheer amount of stuff you do (seeing as my kids are all grown up and out of the house (well, one is, the other is a boomerang, but crossing my fingers she’ll figure out adulting pretty soon. I hope).

      Kitties! There were some tame farm kitties at our retreat, but not very cuddly. We could pet them, until they decided we couldn’t. Got some nice deep war wounds when one grabbed my wrist, claws out. Yeesh. I’ll take Zoey, the not-so-cuddly, any day πŸ™‚

      Have a great week, Betsy!

      Liked by 1 person

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