The Writing Routine by Deb Tiffany

What You Need for Your Writing Routine:

1. The oldest, ugliest trousers imaginable. Mine are fleece and were at one point, I believe, actually my brother’s. Extra points if they’re saggy in the behind and knees. Double extra points if you dare to wear them in public, on errands, around people you know.

2. A vat of coffee. The stronger the better. My current brew is called “Jet Fuel.” For real.

3. A door that closes, although if you have children this won’t help you very much. Children will burst through said door and interrupt your very lovely thoughts with: art projects that are still damp from school, arguments, head injuries, and/or requests for an inappropriate pet.

4. Time. But again, if you have a family, you are unlikely to get any. Just as you are beginning a crucial new chapter, any number of disasters will occur. Your husband will call to inform you that he has invited six guests for dinner, or you will remember that you have a dental appointment in four and half minutes, or the toilet will spontaneously overflow, or you will remember that it is your day to do playground duty and all you have to wear are your writing pants.

5. Delusions of grandeur. It helps to take five minutes off from your masterpiece to daydream your way onto the NYT bestseller list, Oprah, and the Today show. Bonus points if you include a fantasy of come-uppance involving at least two ex-boyfriends, your gradeschool rival, and/or your in-laws.

6. A high tolerance for a messy home, take-out dinners, and mail piled up to your elbows on the kitchen counter. Because when you’re on a deadline, everything else has to give.

7. A way to disconnect the Internet.

8. And, finally, may I recommend a healthy dose of perspective. If that fails, try chocolate, the darker the better. Take two and check back with your work in the morning.

Bon Vivant.

10 Replies to “The Writing Routine by Deb Tiffany”

  1. All of these make perfect sense . . . I’d just add that one more step critical to my “routine” is knowing that no matter what at 5 o’clock (or so) there will be a glass of wine calling my name.

  2. I love this, Tiffany and it’s so familiar! I’d like to say I’m too gracious and centered to ever imagine a comeuppance, but, well, I’m not.

    I’m trying to finish a revision so yes, right now there is mail piled up to my elbows and my office looks like it’s been ransacked because I’m not doing anything else in there until I get that draft done.

  3. A clean house is definitely a sign of a procrastinator!

    I love the description of your pants. The other moms at my son’s school know from one glance at me if I’m going to work that day (clean hair, presentable clothes) or staying home to write (well, maybe it’s better not to describe that look…).

  4. Hmmm… ten o’clock and yup, I’m still in my writing pants (otherwise known as my pajamas!).

    Yes, equal part procrastination and delusions of grandeur. That sounds about right to me!

    Nice post, Tiffany.

  5. Good Morning all. I am loving your book Eileen. WAiting for all the others to be on the shelves.

    Umm, about #4…would you burst into your husbands office and bring 6 friends expecting him to provide dinner??? I think not. He might consider bringing 6 friends with 6 already made food items, clean up the kitchen, put out the food, call you in to eat, then have you leave and go back to work, while he and his 6 friends, clean up the mess, and put the children to bed, and before they leave do some chores around the house. After all, YOU are at work.

    Why are woman still expected to do it all???

  6. Eve’s mom has the right idea!

    This post totally cracked me up, especially as I was sitting in my fleece pants, procrastinating as I read it.

    I also have a few good comeuppance fantasies–they are great for motivation.


  7. So wait, we all wear the same pants?

    I have a couple of pairs that I bought intending them to be “kind of cute hang-y around-y pants.” But when you take them off at the end of the day, it looks like you tried them on an elephant and then wore them around anyway. (A lumpy elephant!)

    I loved this post! So cute.

Comments are closed.