My days have been pretty predictable for the past couple of years. Well, we were in lockdown during the pandemic, so there was a force in effect to slow down.
I don’t imagine anyone else is interested in my day-to-day writing schedule, but it did occur that I might forget what I have found over the last two years, so in light of potential future distraction as we return to… ha ha. I almost said, “as we return to normal.” Silly, silly woman. Anyway, for my own edification, I thought I should write down some of the things I’ve added to my daily routine over the past two years.
1) Take time to quiet the mind.
The first thing I do as I enter my office is light incense. Just one. Then I meditate. Sometimes, meditation comes first. It depends on my mindset as I wake, and who else is awake in the house, so the meditation comes before or after coffee… but there is always coffee… and incense… and meditation.
2) Write down my goals and be mindful of my intentions for the day.
Some might just refer to this as a to do list, but I think of the to-do list as goals. Intention is how you engage with that list. My daily journal includes things like “write some words” followed by the daily word count when I’m done, usually around noon. I have a goal of 1,000 words per day. That’s quality words, not quantity, so the quantity might be more like 2,000 words. This is where I account for my daily writing goal. That goes something like this – “Rocky’s POV, chapter 4, the encounter with Bea, drop clues and foreshadow his reason for coming back from the dead.” That’s really the nuts and bolts of the writing goal, but in addition to that, I have to think about that character’s voice, think in his headspace, and consider my audience. Will you like this character? Have I been true to my promise to the reader? Is this thing that I’ve created worthy of my time here on earth?
3. Make some art/make magic in the garden
I also make a note about my afternoon’s intention, which usually entails some form of art. Today’s afternoon goals list reads: “photograph lace”, and “clean up trash around old fishpond.” Those are my goals, but as I’m doing those things, I’m thinking of next Friday’s blog post and how I will frame it around world-building and transforming the mundane into something magical. (Yesterday’s afternoon entailed transporting four goldfish, four frogs, an eastern painted turtle, and a 7-1/2 inch salamander across the yard to their new digs in the more accessible fish ponds. They ground me, and give me an added benefit to my hourly breaks. Every hour of sitting is followed by a stroll around the yard.)
4) Take Action
I am very fortunate in that I am surrounded, (online) with a community of powerful, talented writers with whom I share accountability. Like toddlers, we parallel play (parallel type in our case), and Fridays, we engage in a mastermind session, talking about our goals accomplished over the past week and our intention in the next week.
My intention usually involves my consideration of my readers, genre, and my brand in general. I remind myself of that brand, and occasionally, I tweak the brand through my ever-evolving mission statement.
And finally, I sit down, and write… every morning… and every afternoon, I make art. But today is Thursday, and it’s five o’clock, so it’s time to wrap up this goal – of creating new content for my blog, and remind myself of my intention – to engage with readers who enjoy a happy ending, who can suspend their own beliefs to enjoy the ride that I call magic, and hopefully, be inspired to make their own art, and magic, and to share it with others.