Feels like a Monday

September 4, 2007 | Karin's Blog | 23 comments

While I do enjoy a nice three day weekend they through me off track. I’m discovering the older I get the more I like routine and sticking to it. A new routine I have established is going to the gym. Regularly. It’s easy since my mil has also joined the same gym. We push each other to go. Yesterday not only did my mil and I go, but my fil and son tagged along (hubby was coaching). Of course, my son had to walk in ahead of us, since he could not be seen with, god forbid, his grandparents AND his mother.

It was funny though. When the kid was on the rowing machine I got on the one next to him and raced his ass (I let him win). We were laughing and having fun. When all was said and done he walked out with us, but told us in no uncertain terms that that would the last time he’d go to the gym with his grandparents.

I came home, showered and got to my writing. I have written through my stumpy scene and while it is not quite the way I want it, the outcome is what I want so that now I can continue my story. A story that has vastly changed from the synopsis I wrote.

I’m beginning to feel a little a panicky here. I’m not quite as far along as I had hoped to be at this date. One of the reason is, because of hubby’s coaching schedule my routine has been thrown off. It really bugs me. While certain things around me may be in chaos I am a creature of routine. Especially when it comes to my writing.

Grrr, me no likey change. Well, not this kind of change anyway.

How about you? Do you work best with an established routine or are you a panster?



  1. Amanda

    I’m an anal Virgo, must have routine, must be MY routine, everyone else must follow it. Grrrr!!

    I had years of the hubby doing graveyard shift and the other stupid one where I made dinner the night before then microwaved it for him for his dinner the next morning. Arghhhh!

    To some it seems boring to do the same old, same old, but I find comfort in routine.

  2. Karin

    Egads! If I forced everyone follow my routine they would be miserable. We work out a happy medium. But I tell ya, when it’s disrupted, I get cranky. Then it’s improvise, adapt and overcome, and on to the new routine.

  3. spyscribbler

    Hmmm, pantser in writing, routine in sitting down to write. It’s easy, though. I just work and write, shower and eat, LOL. I love routine, which is why I’m so glad fall’s here and we’re back to routine!

    Good luck with the exercising routine!

  4. Kristi

    I’m a routine kind of girl … and once I’m out of the routine (like on a vacation or a 3 day weekend) it’s just hellish getting back into it. I feel for ya, toots, and I’m in the same boat! Today writing has been like pulling teeth and all because we played on the lake yesterday. But I know if I stick it out today, tomorrow will be that much easier.

  5. Kristi

    PS – yay for you on the exercising routine..and good luck!

  6. B.E. Sanderson

    I’m one of those people who looks longingly at other people’s routines, and then instead of having one myself, I just wing it. I’m trying to stick to writing weeknights and editing on the weekends, though, so maybe I’m maturing as a writer (instead of just getting older). ;o)

    In the rest of my life, I like some kind of routine. And I’m like you, Karin. If something throws my routine off, I get cranky.

  7. Edie

    I love routine too. I’m so eager to get back into my writing routine of 10 pages a day, but that doesn’t happen until I’m further into the book, darn it.

  8. Elisabeth Naughton

    Me, too. Routine-girl. But I’m a panster writer. Go figure.

    Way to go on the exercising! Working out is like writing. Once you get out of the habit it’s really hard to get started again. But once you’re doing it, it feels amazing.

    Glad you passed your block (and wow, that sounded like you had kidney stones or something. LOL) When I’m blocked I’ve learned I can’t push through it. Blockage usually means something’s not right, and until I figure it out, I’m stagnant.

  9. Karin

    Spy, Eli, I think it’s really ironic for those of us who are pantsers, get screwed up when our routine is disrupted. Is there like some hidden meaning to that?

    Kristi, I always have a hard time jumping back into the swing of things after a vacation. I think we need a readjustment time. Or more scientifically, a reentry phase.

    Edie, you always seem to have a solid routine going. And B.E.? how funny you covet routines. Sounds like you’ve got a writing one started. Keep going.

  10. Michelle

    I love a writing and exercising routine. Even when I feel sick, I actually have to talk myself out of going to the gym, it just doesn’t feel right not to go. And I try write a minimum of 5 pages a day, although at the moment I’ve stretched that to 7. In the writing itself, I like an outline but nothing else. So yes, I’m a routine girl. And since I’ve established a writing routine, my writing has come along in leaps and bounds. My productivity too :).

  11. Carol Davis Luce

    Routine for writing, spontaneity in my social life. Once I put butt to seat and start to write a new book, it’s office hours for me. With a few detours to check email and writer blogs, etc.

    I’m a outliner all the way. I can’t start a new novel until I have a beginning and an ending and at least five chapters loosely sketched out. Then I cross my fingers that the story line will take me through the middle of the book. Of course, nothing is written in stone and I may change the ending by the time I get there.

  12. Virna

    Like LaDonna, I’m both. I need the foundational routine, then I can be spontaneous and deviate from it. This is true for regular life and writing. I’ll write the first chapter off the cuff, then plot, then write some more, and then the story will evolve along the way. I’m glad you worked through your scene!

  13. LaDonna

    Karin, chalk me down as a pantser writer who needs routine! Lol. I’m very spontaneous when it comes to family, but usually know in advance when I seriously need to be somewhere. hehe. Grandparents day is coming up, and Ran and I will be eating lunch with Hunter Monday. Too fun.

  14. Liz Kreger

    I’m such a pantser in everything … even a routine. I try to write for an hour (hour and a half if I’m lucky) in the morning and then another two hours in the evening. I don’t set a page count since I know that’s futile, but the time I try to stick to.

  15. Karin

    right now, Michelle, I need to go walk. and while it’s the last thing i want to do right now, i’ll haul my butt out there and take the dog for a nice evening stroll. then, i’m pulling an all-nighter. i can’t wait!!

    Carol, how is the book coming along? i know you’ve been working on it. care to share?

    LaDonna, I spent a good part of my day today with my three trusty plotting goils today. we’re collaborating a project that is going to be a lot of fun. i resisted the urge to plot, but alas I did. and actually feel good about it!

    Virna, your routine sounds good to me. i am beginning to believe that i work better with at least an outline wit the understanding everything is subject to change.

    Liz, you are a panster in every sense of the word!

  16. tawny


    I need the routine, or even ritual, of my writing process. And to manage a semi-sane life, I need day-to-day routine, but I bite at making and keeping schedules. As long as I have plenty of wiggle room, routine works great, though.

  17. Gaill

    Oh yeah, I’m a Pantser. When I put my butt in the chair and write, it usually sucks. But let it be 36 hours before a deadline, set by someone else, not me, and I can crank out some good shit, even by my standards! Which to me is weird. Mainly because everything is in my head. I dream it, I can write the best scene when I am deep in REM. Once I wake up it is not as good as it was asleep. I would think that the first thing I should do upon waking (other than pee) is to put my butt in the chair and write what I dreamed. I guess I am the most lazy

  18. Gaill

    Oh yeah, I’m a Pantser. When I put my butt in the chair and write, it usually sucks. But let it be 36 hours before a deadline, set by someone else, not me, and I can crank out some good shit, even by my standards! Which to me is weird. Mainly because everything is in my head. I dream it, I can write the best scene when I am deep in REM. Once I wake up it is not as good as it was asleep. I would think that the first thing I should do upon waking (other than pee) is to put my butt in the chair and write what I dreamed. I guess I am the most lazy of wannabe writers. Even in the last one liner contest I never sat down to write the next line until Thursday night. Gotta wonder how I made it 4 or 5 rounds. This was, of course, before I realized a lot of the entrants were using stuff they already wrote. That figures, for me. I so NEVER plan ahead. Guess it is time to change strategies! Again. I love this blog, Karin, you are the greatest.

  19. Ryshia

    Don’t you find the first write through of a stuck scene makes way for the ah hah moment and then suddenly sometimes days later, it comes together?

    I’m a pantser. I start with the flash of an idea and forge ahead. My characters have to lead me through the story although I have had to do some panicked oulines and scene patches midway through to get through the mid point stall or mass confusion caused by my pantsing. In the end, it all works out. I just finished the patching on my latest wip, moving earlier “what I thought at the time were great idea scenes” and are now tagging in out of place spots or totally irrelevant to the plot. It’s a frustrating but in the end rewarding way to write. I wish I could outline my chapters and scenes ahead of time and have tried but my head doesn’t work that way. However, when it comes to slotting writing in my day I found a schedule is mandatory. I journal my word count and writing related activities to keep me on track. Which sounds horribly anal but I’m mostly the disorganized (read creative ha!) type.

    Karin you have a brilliant website and blog. I’ve been a lurker since I entered the last first line contest. And I’m anxiously waiting for the next.

  20. Karin

    Tawny it’s ok to admit it. 🙂 sigh. I’m going to check out that outline spreadsheet thingy you set me. I’m hoping I don’t get a case of the hives from it.

    Hey, Gaill, I work really well under tight deadlines as well. Hmm, since this book is already past due, I think I need to really buckle down.

    Hi, Ryshia, yes to both questions. It really works to just write through. I am currently in that panicked outline stage!
    and hey, glad you like the site and the blog. Stick around for contest details. I’m shooting for the end of the month right now.

  21. Carol Davis Luce

    Hi Karin, the book is done and I have it out to a few readers. Then it’s back to revisions and polishing. Thanks for asking. 🙂

  22. Bernita

    I prefer a general routine ( though one with build-in flexibility)) but certain facts of life, like my husband’s health,make me more of a panster.

  23. Karin

    Carol I can’t wait to buy it! I still pet my copy of NIGHT STALKER.

    Bernita, going with the flow makes life less complicated.

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