Before bedtime routine for writers

I love Virginia Johnson's illustrations in The Perfectly Imperfect Home and in Lessons from Madame Chic

I love Virginia Johnson’s illustrations in The Perfectly Imperfect Home and in Lessons from Madame Chic!

Ah, bedtime, land of noddy winkums, snooze city. But wait, don’t go there yet.  If you are planning on writing in the morning, taking a few minutes before bedtime to get ready for the next day will ensure you a much better writing experience.  In fact, I’ve realized that I can view my whole day as a pre-writing routine.  As in, everything I do during the rest of the day is done with the idea that it serves to protect and create my writing time.

Here is my before bedtime routine:

*Clean up the kitchen and get the coffee maker set up

*Pick out clothes for the next day

*Shower or bath now to save time in morning (or have dry shampoo at the ready)

*Check schedule for next day so I know if I can write for a full two hours or just 20 minutes

*Stop surfing and get to sleep by 10


On nights when I don’t do this, I end up running late, and it cuts into my writing time.  Sometimes I even have to skip writing.  Argh.

When the kitchen is clean, it is easy to slip into my office knowing things are presentable or could be in just a few minutes.  The other night I stayed up late to research my novel, after a big afternoon cup of coffee, which didn’t serve me at all, since then I was too tired to make much writing progress the next day.

Even though I try, I don’t make every item on the list everyday.  But that’s okay, because at least I know what to try again tomorrow.  And when I nail it, it feels so good.  I now use a reminder on my phone, so at 7pm it goes off to remind me to follow my routine.  I’m considering moving the reminder to earlier, like 5pm.  I seem to have a barrier to going upstairs to my bedroom until I have to.  I think it is because the bedrooms are so cold and dark and I tend to think that after dinner, it is my time to surf the web.  On weekends, I am also not getting my writing done, and I know I could, if I continued to follow the routine like I do for the week.

If you’d like more ideas about before bedtime routines, you can check here.  Image from here.

Do you have a routine you follow to write?  Does it involve a cup of coffee or tea?



About writeinseattle

Two Seattle writers examining the writer's life.
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