Breaking Through a Writing Routine (Part 2)

By Nicholas Klacsanzky

Part one is here.

So, you are eager to change your life and step on the luminous path of… okay, whatever, you just want to avoid another possible cause of writer’s block, and make your writing process more interesting. Anyways, here are some of the recommendations that I use myself, and that help me. how to break a writing routine

1. Do you write at a specific time and place? Like when you decide to write for three hours each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, starting no later than 9pm? When you don’t write anywhere except your own room? How long does this approach last? And, what is more important: is it that necessary to do it all the time? My offer is to let yourself do something else for a few days. For example, you might go to the nearest park, sit on a bench there, and sketch out something of what you intend to write at home. Or, the next time you are on a plane, in a train, or on the Greyhound Express bus, try taking a pen and a notebook with you to make some notes while travelling. Most likely, you will be surprised how numerous (and fresh) your thoughts will be.

2. If you are a person like me, you like to keep all things organized. Moreover, when you make yourself sit and write, you are sure that all you need to think about is your piece of writing. To see how counter-productive this approach is, make yourself think about just one topic for an hour. Put everything you do aside, and dedicate the next hour to thinking only about that topic. No distractions, no off topic thoughts. How long will you last? And, even more, what interesting ideas can you come up with this way? Right–zero or nearly that. Instead, let your mind wander. The mind is a great wanderer, and in its journeys it can discover curious things. Start to think about the aforementioned topic, but this time be more relaxed about it. Let your mind jump from one subject to another, and you will be surprised how many associative and causative connections it can produce. Not all of them will be useful for your purposes, but practicing this method gives you higher chances to run into something valuable, compared to regular concentration and seriousness.

3. A routine can be not only how you write, but also what you write. Take a look at your writing. I guess you will notice that you have developed a certain style that you stick to in every new piece of writing. Same words, phrasal cliches, sentence length, and so on. For example, I noticed that I used to start many of my short stories in a manner that I call “2+1.5.” It means that I started the first paragraph with two short sentences, and then added one more sentence, bigger and more descriptive, which usually set the tone of the further text.

Part three coming up!


Need Help?

Comment/Ask an Expert


or login with

Register | Lost your password?