I now work in an office suite that we call home with a commodities inventory/planner and a mechanical engineering student. One cup of coffee at a time doesn’t cut it for all three of us so we brew in a stainless camp coffee pot that’s optimistically labeled as 16 cups. We each fill our mug of choice and put the rest in a Stanley thermos that will keep the brew hot until evening. The perfect coffee and work combination.
Writing routines are a lot like coffee. The perfect routine depends on you and your situation. That’s why I tell my students, “This is what works for me. You might have to tweak it or even hammer out a new one. But that’s okay. You have to go with what works for you.”
I’m on deadline. Since we’ve been social distancing I finished drafting a 15,000 word book on the Trump impeachment. The audience is teens and tweens. I’ve done a rewrite on that project and now I’m finishing another 15,000 word book for tweens. It is due in a week and is on the coronavirus. I am laying words down every day.
Not up for 15,000 twice over in two months? That’s okay. You have to find what works for you. Set a smaller word goal or try something else altogether.
Sioux is querying far and wide. She has a book ready for a home in print or e-format. If I remember correctly, she said that she’s queried 80 agents.
Not ready to query almost 100 agents? That’s okay. You have to find what works for you. Query a smaller number or try something else altogether.
Some of you may be binging TV, movies, books or podcasts. We’ve watched 11 Star Wars movies and 10 Harry Potter films including the Fantastic Beasts. Next on our list is Bond, James Bond. I could tell you that watching all these movies has given me insight into characterization and story arcs, and it has, but I’m really just spending time with my coffee guzzling family.
The reality is that you need to do what you need to do. Find a routine or a worldview that works for you where you are today.
Will it be the perfect way to do things next week? Possibly not, but that’s okay. You have to find what works for you now. With that in mind, I need to go work on Chapter 7 after I pour myself a cup of coffee.
Sue Bradford Edwards' is the author of over 25 books for young readers. To find out more about her writing, visit her blog, One Writer's Journey.
Sue is also the instructor for Research: Prepping to Write Nonfiction for Children and Young Adults (next session begins May 4th, 2020) and Writing Nonfiction for Children and Young Adults (next session begins July 6, 2010).