Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Breaking Routines

Have you ever settled into a routine that you never intended to adhere to? Maybe you toss your coat over the chair day after day; so much so that when you can't find your coat, you're like, "Oh yeah, it's on the chair." Or maybe you're of the male persuasion and it's a lovely routine with the toilet seat. Yeah, well you get my drift. Routines can be as pure as the driven snow or as rotten as a field of onions after harvest.

My writing routine wasn't working. It wasn't working at all. So with the help of some writer friends, I revamped it. You see, the problem was that I hear voices. Yes, it's true; I hear voices! And what's worse, they come from inanimate objects. Dirty socks whisper,"You don't need to write. You need to wash me." Stacks of dishes sing a chorus of (to the tune of WE ARE THE WORLD), "We are the world...we are the dishes. You need to wash instead of wri-i-ite or we'll smell like fishes." And then there's the food in the fridge that simply states, "If you don't start dinner at 9am, you're a bad mom." So yeah, do I need to explain to you just what these voices did to me? Lots of crap accomplished but no writing!

So here's what I did on Sunday. I got out of the house. I went to a local coffee house and wrote my litte heart out. Coffee Perk is the perfect place for writing. It is mostly filled with students. Those students may be stressed and studying their little brains out, but something positive emits from them. It's like the atmosphere is laced with learning. And for a struggling writer-it's perfect! There are also locals who frequent it. Just the perfect mix actually.

But what about my beloved dishes, and laundry, and dinner? Well, I have been doing this FlyLady thing for a few months. Flylady is an organizational/home management sort of a website. The goal is to get your house cleaned, dinner on the table and live a peaceful life. Anyway-Flylady says that you can do anything for 15 minutes. So I did my usual routine (I'll talk about that in a later post) and then set the timer and cleaned for 15 minutes. Then I let the house and wrote for three hours. Why three hours? I will share that too in a later post...hehehe. Guess you have to come back.

I got more writing done in the past two days than I had in the last week. So my advice is this; if you are struggling to get words down on paper, take a close look at your routines. Ask yourself;

What is distracting me?
What am I thinking about?
What would make me write more?
What setting do I work best in?
What is my goal?
Am I meeting my goals?

Switch up your routines. I promise you will see results! ~K


Eileen said...

Hey Karen, Beautifully written! Love it!

Karen L. Alaniz said...

Thank you Eileen! Time has passed, but that routine remained. Took a few weeks off for the holidays but back at it today! Great to hear from you. ~Karen