Setting a Routine

One of the basic tenets of writing is to set up a routine and schedule and stick to it. I’ve been using the Forward Motion writers site to get me through my latest SF draft and that’s worked out well (and submitted last week). That leaves me in the state of fleshing out a new story, and frankly, I’m stumped.

How do you turn “write 500 words a day” into things like character creation, story arcs, and scene settings? Especially when I’m using a mindmap to create it all? I tried setting goals like define two characters, but that didn’t get me far. Mind you, subtle distractions like spring and gardening and the arrival of baby ducklings doesn’t help.


I’m thinking I should set time based goals instead. Perhaps an hour a day in the mindmap, creating “stuff”. Has anyone tried that approach?



  1. If I’m deep in editing or world building, I usually consider time spent as word-count. If I spend as much time on a character building or mind-mapping project as I do for a day’s writing session, I just log it as my 500 or 1000 words for the day.

  2. I don’t always feel the need to write a particular number of words a day. Or even write every day. Most of the time I do. It can be blogs, outlining, or a flash fiction. If I’m in the middle of planning for an upcoming WIP, I write flash fictions. I have a blog that I post to twice a week. I write for the Merry-Go-Round Tour once a month. There’s revising to do of course. Quite often that involves more writing than I’d wish.

    I don’t like arbitrary rules. Like, take at least one day a week off from writing. Mostly I do, sometimes I don’t.

    Go easy on yourself, and best of luck finding what works best for you.

  3. The time based approach might help. I don’t want to go into too many details right now, as my post going up tomorrow will be spoiled. All the moving parts doesn’t always mesh into a cookie-cutter schedule.

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