Writing repetitively and repetitive writing

The more time I devote to writing, the more I feel as though my life is in danger of becoming overly repetitive. I suppose I don’t really want ALL of my excitement and drama playing out on the pages in front of me, inspiration would eventually run dry that way I’m sure, but it’s pretty hard to get the balance right.

At the moment, days go: get up, write or edit, go to work for four hours and write and get annoyed by people, have an hour break for lunch to write or edit, back to work for another 3.5 hours with generally more annoyance than writing, home for tea, try to write and read then fall asleep. This is repeated for most week days with very occasional fun nights thrown in. There ain’t much in the way of variation there, especially when you’ve been working on the same novel for over a year…

When I was younger, the idea of days full of the same thing was terrifying, I honestly couldn’t think of anything worse, but the older I get the more attracted I become to routine (crazy old cat lady without the cats here I come). But too much of a routine could be a bad, bad thing.

Spending a lot of time seeing people and having fun doesn’t leave enough space for getting the words on the page, so it gets sacrificed – but if it keeps going that way there will be no friends left and every day will be just the same as the day before, and if that happens, what are the chances that every page will be just the same as the page before too?

If I’m not paying attention at work, I can churn out clichés at a rate of knots – that’s what happens when you do the same damn thing all the time – I have to make sure that same thing doesn’t happen to my fiction, even if it means taking a little bit of time away from writing it occasionally. Does anyone have a good way of shaking up their routine without compromising it completely?

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10 responses to “Writing repetitively and repetitive writing

  1. How about designating one day per week as your off day and sticking with it? I guess you could change it depending on social plans and offers that come up so you’re not just like “it’s ONLY Thursdays I’m free!”. Or, if you already are out one day a week… add another. Or afternoons and mornings at the weekend. I don’t know what you normally do on weekends (it used to be miss KT but now I’m sure that’s a 24/7 kind of thing).

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    • Obviously all time is just miss KT time 🙂

      Weekends are technically off time, otherwise I’d probably end up resenting Ink something awful. But generally I work on sat morning and sun night at least. Hmm, maybe the summer will bring more social-time naturally though!

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  2. “crazy old cat lady without the cats here I come” You made me laugh out loud with this!  My friends say that they rarely see my face anymore and they fear that I’m going to become the “crazy lady with the Yorkshire Terriers”. So same idea, different scenario I guess… 🙂
    But you made an excellent point; it is hard to keep the balance. At the end of the day, writing is my job, and I want to finish my novel so I work, work and work… But if I isolate myself, then inspiration will run dry and I’m afraid I’m going to turn into one of those people who freak out when their routine gets disturbed. Hopefully, in time, we’ll learn how to balance life & writing.
    I have no advice on this but sometimes I sacrifice a day and take a day trip out side the city, somewhere I’ve never been before with friends. Even then, on the way back home, I find myself thinking” I’m good to go for another ten days.” 🙂

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    • Yup, it’s the freaking out when the routine gets disturbed part you mentioned that worries me. I’m jealous of those people that can seemingly ALWAYS just leave everything at the drop of a hat to enjoy adventures and stuff, but I always try and comfort myself with the fact that they might be having fun but they won’t have time to really learn or get stuck into something (that’s what i tell myself anyway!).

      I reckon commiseration is just as good as advice sometimes 🙂

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  3. I break it up by reading other folk’s work, but I always return to the routine dull life of physician bluegrass fiction; I doctor by day and play bluegrass by night.

    Dr. B

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  4. Perhaps these ‘fun nights out’ are a bit too occasional Lynsey. Whatever I’m doing, I always wish I was doing something else. I woke up the other morning with a wonderful poem just tripping out of my brain….no pen of course and soon forgotten. Perhaps a small dictaphone might be a good idea then we could just type these things up in our spare time 🙂
    Its ironic that all the good ideas come when your not sitting down especially to think of them – and so frustrating.

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    • Dictaphones are such a good idea, in fact i even have a dictaphone function on my phone, I’ve just never really thought to, or got in a habit of, using it! Perfect for middle of the night ideas though, you might be on to something.

      And damn that grass for always being greener! but more fun nights out might be just what the doctor ordered, hopefully the spring and summer will actually turn up soon and I’ll be encouraged to get out the house!

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  5. I hear you there Miss May.

    My problem is finding enough time though. It usually takes me an hour or two to really get into the groove – and my average week day doesn’t allow for much grooving.

    Therefore it’s usually on weekend that I get most done – but it’s definately at the expense of social interaction.

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    • I’m totally with you on the needing an hour or two to get into the groove, it’s such a shame our lives are so full of stuff huh? Glad you manage to make some time at the weekend. I guess the dream is that one day there will be more time to devote to grooving we get paid for and the weekend can be social fun times – good luck with it!

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