On Daily Routines

Photo Credit: From PublicDomainPictures.net

There are so many amazing interviews with authors out there–including a ton of advice that authors have collected on their site in FAQ pages. Some of that advice is from authors who are no longer with us.

I’ve collected some of that advice in these posts, and organized them by topic. It’s a quick way to see some of the great advice out there on a particular subject, but if you want even more advice and great interviews, click on the links beside each quote.

Here, I’ve collected together quotes for the topic: “On Daily Routines.”


My work routine is very simple and it’s always been so for the last 45 years. The great thing, of course, is never to work too long at a stretch because after about 2 hours you are not at your highest peak of concentration so you have to stop. Some writers choose certain times to write, others [choose] other times and it suites me to start rather late, i start at 10 o’clock and i stop at 12. Always. You have to keep your bottom on the chair and stick it out. Otherwise, if you start getting in the habit of walking away, you’ll never get it done.”

Roald Dahl, Scholastic Interview



I get up in the morning between 7am and 8am and make myself a big cup of coffee, check my emails and do social media or blogging, and start writing around noon. I tend to write slowly but solidly until quite late at night. I aim to sleep at around 11pm but often the writing urge will kick in when it turns dark, and I’ll end up writing past 1am. I usually write for at least seven or eight hours a day, if not more.”

Samantha Shannon, Samantha Shannon’s Site


“When I am working on a book or a story I write every morning as soon after first light as possible. There is no one to disturb you and it is cool or cold and you come to your work and warm as you write. You read what you have written and, as you always stop when you know what is going to happen next, you go on from there. You write until you come to a place where you still have your juice and know what will happen next and you stop and try to live through until the next day when you hit it again. You have started at six in the morning, say, and may go on until noon or be through before that. When you stop you are as empty, and at the same time never empty but filling, as when you have made love to someone you love. Nothing can hurt you, nothing can happen, nothing means anything until the next day when you do it again. It is the wait until the next day that is hard to get through.”

Ernest Hemingway, The Paris Review Interview


“If I’m in the middle of the first draft of a novel, I often try to do between 2 and 5 pages a day, sometimes at home but more often out at a coffee shop or library. I share a work space in a block of artist’s studios in my home town, too. This first-draft writing can sometimes be done in an hour or so, but it is a draining hour. Any day in which I come up with 2 to 5 new pages of prose is a day of accomplishment.”

Gregory Maguire, Gregory Maguire’s Site


“I don’t really have a typical workday or typical work week. I do set goals, usually in terms of pages and how many pages a week or day I will do. Sometimes I fail, but at least it gives me a goal. I do think it’s important to write every day. I don’t always do it, but when I’m in the thick of writing, I do it. If you’re writing every day, it becomes a habit. It’s a practice, almost. The more you do it, the better you are at it. As to where I write, I don’t want a view. I don’t want to be someplace beautiful – I want to look at a blank wall. I’m interested in creating something, imagining something.”

Alice Hoffman, Writer Mag Interview


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