Writing routines are great, but sometimes they also get old and tired, which can affect your writing or desire to write. I know that I personally struggle with monotony. While I do have a goal to write around 1k words each weekday, I seem to get that goal done differently each time.
Now, I'm not criticizing those with solid routines—I often wish I could have one myself—but for those who are burnt out on their own or looking for ways to revitalize it, I have some tips. You know me, I love me some tips.
1. Go Somewhere Else
Many people write in the same place—at their desk, sitting on the couch, at the kitchen counter, at a café, etc. When I get really stuck or tired of writing, I often decide to change locales. I hit the library most often because there are very few distractions there and it forces me to focus. But I've also taken a notebook to the park, scribbled madly at soccer practice, and even simply climbed in bed with my laptop.
It's strangely rejuvenating to just be in a different place, seeing different things. The new locale tricks my mind into thinking I'm doing something exciting, even if I'm just revising that one scene for the 50th time.
2. Bring Out The Paper (Or Computer)
If you type up your books on the computer, try whipping out that old paper and pen for a scene or two. If you write everything by hand, pull out that computer and type for a little. Sometimes just the simplest change can get you looking at writing in a fresh way.
I find this especially helpful when I have a bad case of Perfectionitis. Handwriting helps me push forward even when I know it's not perfect. And then typing it into the computer gives you the perfect opportunity to clean it up.
3. Experimental Writing
Sometimes your story goes stale for you and you need to see it in a new light. Lately I've been exploring my books from different angles, like seeing the book from a secondary character's pov, or digging into the back story way more than I'd ever put in the book, or imagining what a prequel would be about, or how the story would go if I was writing about the villain, etc.
I've recently been going through all my side characters and asking them what they think of my MC. That has been interesting—especially since it rarely coincides with what my MC thinks.
4. New Writing
I know we're supposed to have one project that we put our all into, but I must admit I'm a bit of a cheater. Yes, I cheat on my books. I write down new ideas when I get them—I may even start writing them if I get super sick of my current project.
I don't think that's such a bad thing. I think it gives my brain a break, and when I come back to the main project I feel rejuvenated. Usually that time away, even if it's only a few days, helps me see that my main WIP isn't as bad as I thought it was.
5. Changing Up Times
Maybe you always write in the morning, and maybe for the last two days you've stared at the screen instead of making any real progress. If you can manage, it wouldn't hurt to try a different time of the day. Maybe you can go for a nice walk and then write after lunch instead. Maybe that'll clear your head and get the juices flowing.
6. Just Freaking Chill Out
Writing is a hard job because it always feels like you could be doing more. If you write for three hours, you think about how you should have squeezed in one more. If you get four pages written, you wonder if you could have gotten five if you just wrote a little faster. You feel guilty if you DON'T use your free time to write. You feel awful if you take a day just to relax—or a week even. Heck, a month! How horrible, taking off for a whole month...
Stop that. You do not have to feel guilty for the work left undone. There will ALWAYS be work. Everyday, I try to focus only on what I did accomplish, even if it's only two sentences. That is two more sentences than I had the day before.
Writing is part of our lives, but it should not be our whole lives. Do what you can when you can. Enjoy your breaks when you need them. Come back to your writing reinvigorated and ready to go.