Routineology – M. Howalt

Wherever I go and whatever I do, my muses tag along as a constant trickle of ideas in my head. In the evening, the trickle becomes a stream, and I dream up more solid characters, plots and specific scenes or sentences before I fall asleep. Once in a while, they are actual dreams. I write notes on Post-its, in notebooks, on whatever paper I have handy. 

In the morning and during the day, I structure my thoughts and notes into coherent stories. I research and write and edit whenever I can fit these activities into my schedule. When I sit down at the computer, the words begin to take shape and flow from my fingers. It’s not a question of persuading myself to write, but of allowing myself to take the time to do it – whether it’s for ten minutes or two hours on a given day.

I find working on several projects at once helpful. With one or two stories being written, another undergoing restructuring or revising and yet another in the final stages of proofreading, I practically avoid burnouts. If one story needs to sit for a while, there is always another waiting for me.

M. Howalt