A Writer’s Custom

I now make it my business to go out every day, and, if I can afford it, go to the movies once a week. This is mainly because I live next to a lumber yard and they have decided to “do a little maintenance” (aka scare the shit out of me by making our flat vibrate).

Today’s escape involved heading to the high street. Caitlin Moran’s new book was waiting for me at WH Smith’s, and I wanted to get my greedy hands on a copy. Which I successfully did, for half the normal price. Yay me.

I nestled into a chair at Costa and delved right in.

In the introduction, Caitlin describes how she got started with writing. It involved a lot of writing, every day and taking part in competitions. Winning one of those competitions eventually started her off on the path to being a journalist, despite having no formal education on the subject.

I like that. Her hard graft got her to where she is today (with two books and three columns) and I want to do my best to emulate her.

This involves creating a habit of writing daily, be it on the blog or working on a story or guest post. This also involves creating “the writing routine”.

Writers are creatures of habit, I have discovered. They have a preferred place to work, preferred snacks, preferred times of day, even.

My writing routine consists of a 2l bottle of Diet Coke, drawn curtains and a lot of games of 1k 1H. I don’t want any mood music, because that will distract rather than add to the atmosphere. What I do want is birdsong, or the television softly playing in the background.

When you think about it, my life is pretty much based around routine (on the good days). Right down to what I do when I’m at Costa.

I noticed it again this morning, when I sat down with my newly acquired book. Not only had I ordered another sodding brie and bacon panini, I had also bought a Diet Coke and, by coincidence, sat down in the same sodding place in front of the AC.

Walking out of Costa, I shuddered. The sun felt heavenly on my skin, but I was slightly disgusted with myself. It’s good to have somewhat of a writing routine (because it keeps you structured), but to have routine seeping into your visits to the coffee shop…


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