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I am not anti-portable notepad like Murakami, but I, too, don't jot down...anything. I occasionally remember to open my Notes app on my phone to write something down, but over the years I've come to accept that if an idea is truly good and viable, it will return to me, even if I can't remember it in the moment. I also find that when I reread notes I've jotted down I...can't make sense of what the notes are referring to ("what is cheese plates in bedroom????") or I remembered what I wanted to remember anyway.

My routine is also all over the place, something I am trying to work on for 2023. I'm ADHD, which can often be described as a sort of time-blindness, which means that I either procrastinate until the absolute last minute or I'm so hyperfixated as to let everything else fall by the wayside. I'm usually more on the procrastinating side than the hyperfixated side (unless you count being hyperfixated on the WRONG THING AT THE WRONG TIME), so the most useful piece of information I've found was "Begin before you're ready." And I realized that I can spend HOURS just preparing myself to do a thing, justifying it by saying, "Oh, I need to know this character motivation, oh I need my morning beverage, oh I need to, etc." I don't need to be THIS ready to start something. So I've adopted that as my mantra.

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Jan 18Liked by Julie Falatko

I have always been in awe of Murakami! To be honest, I don't love his writing as much as I feel I should, but his "What I talk about when I Talk about Running" is an absolute favorite! I also struggle with having a consistent writing routine. But, I often think, as long the writing stays consistent, does it matter what the routine looks like? Not sure I believe that entirely. Also, it's so gratifying to be mentioned alongside Mason Currey--he's one of my absolute favorite writers! And, so looking forward to your east-coast letters with Mark!

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I've learned so much from this post! I need to work on my routine - I struggle to write without feeling guilty about it, because there are things I feel I SHOULD be doing, and I feel for me that writing doesn't count as a 'should'.

I know. But I'm new to this, and finding my way!

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I like this post Julie! I like your newsletter too! And thanks to my friend above, Elayne, who gifted me a month of your newsletter, I’ll be upgrading to the paid one! Anyway, I thought this post of yours was timely, as I am in the middle of reading The 12 Week Year for Writers. I can’t remember where I came across it, I wasn’t looking for it, but surely it came from one of the many people/things I follow about writing. I’m always, always, looking, trying, failing to stick with a writing routine. Seeing what other people are doing and trying to do it myself. But I love how you said, that you already have a writing routine, it may not be like these others, but it works for you. And really, that is the same thing for me. My writing routine is super, super flexible. Changes on a daily basis, but at the end of the day, I typically get the work done, that I need to and ultimately want to . So maybe, I should stop being hard on myself and take what works for me, when it works for me, and that is that. Quit spending my time on trying to put myself in someone else’s mold of a writing routine! But I don’t quite want to give up on the 12 Week Year yet, as I do think there are some valid things in there, that I want to try my hand at! But this might be it! I’m not going to go down the rabbit hole of routines! I’m going to look at what I do and work from there. So thank you for the validation of my writing routine. Because it is just that. Mine. And it only need work for me!

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This made me feel so much better about my own routine. I, too, have a tendency to do the comparison thing and think I’m not measuring up.

Honestly, I only just embraced my inherent status as a writer and put it at the forefront of my routine this year. Before that, it was sporadic and shoved into the margins.

I haven’t quite worked out my routine yet, but so far my days looks like this:

Wake up at 4:30, ready to exercise by 4:50. Done by between 6:00 and 6:20. Make breakfast and pray, do Bible reading and study, take a shower, make a smoothie.

Write from about 9:00 until 10:20.

Rest of the day is for client work, admin work, cleaning, and the like. Also take a mid-afternoon walk and read a book at bedtime.

I would like to increase my writing time, but for now this is what I’m exploring.

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Hey Julie, here's the final link to the Letters post, might want to update the link:

https://howaboutthis.substack.com/p/on-process-and-place-letter-1

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Your routine is so similar to mine, I’m also up at 4:30 most days. I work out, get the kids to school, then sit down and write for 2-3 hours. After lunch I do admin stuff. By 2:30 I am done for the day though because the eldest is home from school. And this is only the schedule on m/w/f because my littlest is home with me on t/r. He starts Kindergarten in the fall though and I’m excited to sink into this routine FIVE days a week. :)

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Julie, this has made me feel so much better! Thank you. I know I need to prioritise by making it THE thing I do, not just ONE of the things. 😀

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Side-eyeing Murakami's routine, all I can say is: "No, thank you!" I was in a military family and then married a submarine officer...and it's fair to say I'm no longer interested in regimented daily routines for myself. 😂 I'm very particular about *how* I do the things I do, but not the order or sheer amount on any particular day. Everything just needs to happen while the kids are at school, or after dinner (or on a weekend when the rest of the family is fishing or something). As far as I am concerned, it's one of the few perks of being in such an uncertain career--that I can structure my time on any given day as I want (and run it differently every day, just because). I never feel better than when I sit down and have the luxury to think, what do I want to work on next?

Having said that, I adore longer-term deadlines to provide an overarching structure to my work! I sign myself up for all kinds of things just so I always have a looming deadline to work toward. I also have a lot of regular critique groups and Zoom meetings that help me keep momentum (a weekly one for MG, three for PBs that are monthly or bi-monthly, and a weekly art group). Those are long-term routine-makers vs. daily things, but they apply enough pressure that I'm always doing *something* on my work list. At least, so far! As you say, I don't expect that to remain static. But for now, it's good enough.

I love hearing about your routine, though! And I love how different creators are in how they work. Of course, it matters that we do it at all more than if we match, but still, there's an understandable desire to know what shapes the work days and ideas of others--esp. those we look up to!

Bravo to Cosmo for his help with the ice--sporting that little plaid coat! 😍 De La Soul and Indigo Girls are solid sing-along choices. Are you a karaoke person? (I should add, I am! Which should be cringe but I'm beyond that now because I just love what I love and life is short.)

Thank you also for reminding me that I wanted to read Big Dreams, Small Fish, too! And looking forward to the Letter Exchange, too.

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OMG. I have SOOOO tried to have a writing routine and it has eluded me. Now I'm prioritizing my writing my starting the day with 3 Daily Pages - just writing about anything, not necessarily a project. It has helped me establish a routine for other work and to exercise my writing muscles. I agree that no one routine works for everyone. Thanks much.

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