Who likes routine?
I like the idea of routine. I love plotting out a new routine and imagining sticking to it and finding that perfect writing rhythm…but, well, let’s just say none of that has worked out for me yet. 😉 So instead, I turn to the classics for example and inspiration.
I love examining the routines of brilliant people. I love seeing what possibly had a hand in their brilliance. I like thinking I can try to do the same thing, so I thought it’d be fun to share some of them here. Maybe it’ll inspire you.
C. S. Lewis
The great penner of our beloved Narnia seemed to relish routines. His ideal routine, which he stuck to for a while, is shared in Surprised by Joy and, honestly, it sounds like a pretty pleasant one to me.
- 8:00 – breakfast
- 9:00 – He’s at his desk to read or write until 1pm.
- 11:00 – TEA TIME! (I can totally get on board with this.)
- 1:00 – Lunch time!
- 2:00 (at the latest) — Lewis would take a long walk (alone), but no longer than 2ish hours.
- 5:00 -7:00 – back to writing/reading
- In bed no later than eleven!
I would choose always to breakfast at exactly eight and to be at my desk by nine, there to read or write till one. If a cup of good tea or coffee could be brought me about eleven, so much the better. – C. S. Lewis, Surprised By Joy
I think this one is my favorite. I love the writing-tea-writing-food-walk-writing schedule Lewis has and it’s somewhat similar to mine (though much more scheduled than mine is.)
Mark seems to place the same value on food the way I do, because this was his schedule:
- Eat a giant breakfast
- Lock himself in his study
- Come out for dinner
- The end.
I’m willing to bet there are several of you who can relate to Mr. Twain. Apparently, if his family needed him, they would blow a horn. LOL. (source)
Lew Wallace — the author of Ben-Hur — he wrote the majority of that manuscript sitting outside beneath the same beech tree, which sound GLORIOUS if I could just have a little deck and rocker and cute table (and beech tree) like he does. (And as long as someone pays the mosquitoes to stay away. Though I guess if I dressed all the way up to your chin the way he did, the mosquitoes wouldn’t even get to me.)
Here was his schedule:
- 7:30 – wake up!
- 9:00 – 12:00 – writes, writes, writes
- 12:00 – break (possibly for food)
- 1:30 – 4:00 – writes again!
- 4:00 – 6:00 – “exercises” (and his version of exercising means riding a horse or walking.)
- 9:30 – goes to sleep.
“To this habit of taking regular exercise I attribute my good health. I eat just what I want and as much as I want.” – Lew Wallace
Sounds good to me. Let me just go buy a horse real quick…
Jane got up early to play the piano before anyone else woke. (The house must have been rather large for her piano playing not to wake everyone. Just sayin’).
- 9:00 – She made breakfast for the family
- Then she wrote in the sitting room until dinner.
- After dinner, she read her works-in-progress aloud to her family. (Brave girl!)
For some reason all these classic writers had the guts to read their stuff to people. I can’t! I just can’t! The first draft is so…so…it’s like making people eat dinner before it’s cooked. (“Here, try this raw chicken, I just plopped it in the pan.”)
Maybe I’m just a coward. And I’m okay with that. 😛
J. R. R. Tolkien
It was very hard to find much on Tolkien. Maybe he was a bit like me and didn’t stick to a daily routine. (So does that mean he doesn’t belong in this blog post? Hm…)
But apparently I’m a bit like him because he wrote by hand and by typewriter. He even brought his typewriter to bed with him and wrote there! (Also like me. Writing in bed, with tea…) I approve of his methods. But typewriters are heavy, so I applaud him for enduring probably several evenings of numb limbs.
“I like typewriters; and my dream is of suddenly finding myself rich enough to have an electric typewriter built to my specifications, to type the Fëanorian script.” – J. R. R. Tolkien
Yes. Just yes. Please someone create a typewriter that types Elvish.
Oh, um, well, this author hasn’t really figured out her routine yet.
- ??:00 – Wakes up
- 10:00 – TEA
- 12:00 – FOOD
- 12:30 – maybe words?
- ??:00 – sleep.
Okay, no actually I do have somewhat of a routine, but I wanted to do a fun blog post on my quirky routine (with videos!) and share that with you some other time. In short, it involves a lot of tea, walking, and coffee shop-ing.
Or we could all just be like Victor Hugo and wake at dawn to the gunshot of the nearby fort, swallow two raw eggs, and then lock ourselves in our writing lookout until 11:00.
Do you have a daily routine? What does your ideal daily routine look like?
If you had to choose one of the above routines, which would you choose?