Writing Exercises: "Writing at the End of Your Day"
You guessed it. Now that we have left behind the topic of journal writing, it is time to go right back into discussing our routines. In this particular case, we are going to discuss why writing at the end of the day is beneficial. As per usual the morning equivalent of this routine is equally as effective but because I myself am an evening writer, for this post I will be focusing on that (bare with me morning writers).
Evening writing has two very important advantages that may not be shared with morning writing. The first is that at the end of the day, when all the projects are done and we have clocked out of work, our minds are free to wander and there is time to scribble down a few notes here and there. The second advantage of writing in the evening is having a calming meditation practice before bed. Even when this evening ritual has the potential to dip into to a sleeping routine, I have always found that I sleep more restfully when I finish drafting a scene or writing a chapter. The most important thing is creating a routine that works for you.
There are ways in which to ensure you are getting the most out of your schedules, evening writers, and here is a list of things to consider when preparing:
1) Developing a ritual
Let's start with the bare bones, you need to begin selecting a time in your evenings that indicate that it is time to write. Any ritual works great with triggers, like maybe you schedule dinner just before your writing time so you have a nice calorie intake before setting to work. Another trigger could be that writing time always follows reading time, so as soon as you are done reading a portion of a book, you know it is time to start writing. My personal trigger is that I put on my pajamas, some fuzzy socks and sit down at my computer with a nice warm beverage. As soon as I am in my comfy pajamas, my brain gets pumping.
2) Set a place
I have mentioned this before and it is back as a reminder because your battle station for writing is important. My writing place is my office, some music playing and the door is shut. Even the living room (distraction free, if you please) with dim lights and a fully charged laptop or pen and open notebook can go a long way.
3) Journal for ten minutes
I apologize for any deception leading to my dropping this topic but it is simply too important. Log in to you online journal, or pick up the journal you have chosen to scribble in because you will need to get writing for a solid ten minutes.
4) Only write
Sounds obvious but sometimes it isn't always. Do not multitask. It can be hard not to because you just got back from work and your brain may be focused on whatever project you had been working on. It is all fine and good to be responsible and although you should always complete your daily work, remember that writing is a commitment you have agreed to. This is a friendly reminder that you have to get into the practice of separating out your two careers. Dedicate yourself to this writing time and see it through.
5) Make some morning to-write lists
I never forget about morning writers. For those of you who prefer to write in the morning, go for it, but maybe still take this next advice because it is worth something. Writing in the morning is a bit more difficult for evening writers but have a chicken scratch to-do list of what needs to be written when you get home can work wonders. Morning writers, no matter how early you get up there have to be times when the clock just catches up to you and you have to begin your morning routine, stopping in the middle of a scene or a chapter, etc. When you get caught at these moments that force you to drop what you're writing, take advantage of writing a to-write list so you can simply pick up where you left off as soon as you are home. Evening writers, writing these lists even before bed can train you to dream about the contents of your list and simply be ready to write in the morning.
Writing in the evenings can really benefit both morning and evening writers for all of the above reasons. Truthfully though, regardless of your preferences writing in the morning and evening is ideal, but that would be the next step and we can discuss it at a later time. For now work on developing your writing routines by introducing triggers, be it a costume change or strict scheduling, it is definitely time to start implicating it into your daily routine.