2 Unruly Beasts All Writers Must Tame

The Two Unruly Beasts You Must Tame In Order to Create a Writing Routine and Writer’s Life You Love   

How do you create and sustain a writing routine? Is it even possible in today’s hustle & ping world of distractions and demands?

That is the question

The goal of this consistent writing routine is not necessarily to be a prolific writer and pump out hundreds of thousands of words. 

Our true goal is to LOVE the process (most of the time), so we can LIVE the writer’s life for the rest of our days. 

It’s no secret that I believe the key to all of this is becoming a resilient writer. And I’ve talked about what that means before

But how do you get there from where you are now? Why do so many writers struggle to find the time to write?

There are two beasts we must tame, in order to become the writers we want to be…

Tame Your Expectations

You’ve always loved stories. And you’ve been a writer for as long as you can remember. So, why can’t you sit down and write?

The problem is, we often expect the writing to happen naturally, magically without any planning or effort on our part. 

We think the muse only visits when we are being “good” writers—kind of like Santa Claus only leaves gifts under the tree for the “good” kids. And naughty writers get a big lump of writer’s block.  

“Real” writers, they say, must write every day, and the mystical muse rewards them for their virtue. 

Not so. Like Santa (cover your ears, kids), this idea that real writers are those who write every day is a myth. 

Who created this bogus rule for writers anyway? Why do we continue to tell ourselves this limiting, judgmental, and unrealistic story?

I’ll concede that it’s a lovely fairy tale—this dedicated writer who writes every day, perfectly in flow, with her steadfast muse on her shoulder. 

We’d all love for this to be our reality. But it’s not. 

The reality of the writer’s life is much messier—more like reality TV than the tale of a Disney princess.

And the sooner you align your expectations for your writing routine with reality, the sooner you can make progress on your writing projects. 

Let’s say you expect yourself to be able to write for 90 minutes every day. But, at the end of every week, you’ve fallen short of your goal. 

You’re most likely setting an unrealistic expectation for yourself, and it’s hurting your confidence as a writer.

If I were your writing coach, I’d much rather see you write consistently for 10 minutes, three days a week and easily hit or exceed your goals.

Progress is a great motivator. And you can always build on this goal, once you’ve established your writing routine. 

Ask yourself the following questions to do a quick writer’s reality check…

  • Do you have any beliefs about what it takes to be a “real” writer? Are those beliefs true? Are they helpful to you as a writer?
  • What are your current expectations for your writing routine?
  • Looking at your existing commitments, are your current expectations in line with reality?
  • If not, what would be a more realistic weekly writing goal for you? How many sessions per week can you commit to? For how long each session? 
  • Now, where can you fit those sessions into your schedule? Add your writing sessions to your calendar with reminders! 

For more help creating your writing routine, get this free Writer’s Weekly Planner

What if you have your writing routine sorted out, but it seems your muse is a monkey with a serious caffeine habit? 

Keep reading about the second beast…

Tame Your Monkey Mind

You’ve mastered your weekly writer’s planning process. You’re a pro at scheduling and sticking to your writing sessions. 

You sit down at your desk and crack your knuckles. Sigh. Take a gulp of coffee. Open your work in progress. Crack your knuckles again. Sigh…you get the picture.

Never mind finding flow—the words aren’t even trickling out. May as well see what’s happening over on Instagram, or Tik Tok. Maybe that’ll get the words flowing.

Two hours later, the cursor on the blank page is taunting you.  

If this scenario sounds eerily familiar to you, let me say, it’s not just you. I’ve been there too. 

We live in an incredibly scattered, unfocused world, teeming with distractions. In fact, many of the “stress relievers” we turn to, like social media, are designed to steal our attention without us even realizing it. 

Our brains are simply not built for this level of stimulation and distraction. So, it’s no surprise that our attention spans have gone missing.

When you spend focused time on your writing, you are bucking the system. 

Your attention, time, and focus are a hot commodity. And making a conscious decision to invest them in what matters most to you, instead of squandering them on endless feeds of filtered photos, is an act of rebellion. You counterculture rebel, you

I tell my First Book Finish students to be fierce with their focus. 

You have to decide that getting focused in order to write is a top priority in your life. 

You have to become a proactive problem-solver when it comes to your focus—no more passive passenger along for the ride of distraction. 

You have to take complete responsibility for your focus.  

All easy to say, but how do you actually reclaim your focus? 

I can share what has not only worked for me, but has worked for my First Book Finish students.  

Here’s how I radically shifted my ability to focus and you can too…


Each week during my writer’s planning session, I tell myself, “I am a writer, and I intend to write.” If I find myself waffling when I should be writing, I remind myself of my intention.

Pro-tip: Add your intention to the calendar invite or reminders for your writing sessions. Or you can schedule a text to yourself stating your intention at your designated writing time. 


The ideal writing time for me is in the morning, before the demands of life have zapped my energy. My focus, energy, and creativity are at their peak then, and it’s much easier to get into a state of flow. 

Pro-tip: Because the morning sessions don't always happen, I have a backup writing time at around 4 p.m. That’s my second-best time to write.


Before I start writing, I clear my mind. I do this with a centering exercise, such as meditating or coloring. Don’t worry—it only takes a few minutes. 

I do this to trigger my parasympathetic nervous system, so my brain will work with me, not against me. 

Pro-tip: Have a handful of go-to pre-writing tools ready to go, so you don't waste your writing time searching for (procrastinating) the perfect meditation. 

Go to YouTube, bookmark a few 3-5 minute meditations. Order an adult coloring book and a set of colored pencils to keep on your writing desk, or near your bed or couch, wherever you write. 


When I sit down to write, and my brain is firing off 25 ideas, worries, and thoughts per minute, it’s impossible to concentrate on the work at hand. 

The pre-writing clearing exercise definitely helps with this, but we're only human. So, I keep a notebook on my desk for random thoughts that threaten to derail my writing session. When an unrelated thought pops up, I write it down and get back to work. 

There’s only so much free storage space in your brain. So, let’s reserve it for your writing. 

Pro-tip: Keep your random idea catcher separate from your writing project. In other words, if you work on a laptop, have a paper notebook by your side to jot down your thoughts. This keeps you from opening another tab and possibly going down an internet rabbit hole.

Want to boost your word count? Learn how to eliminate distractions and carve out more time to write with this free Busy Writers' Guide to DIY Writing Retreats.

Ready to Finally Finish Your Book?

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First Book Finish is my signature program for writers who are serious about becoming AUTHORS. 

This isn’t another writing course that only gets you so far, then you’re on your own.

It's a soup-to-nuts experience guiding you through the complete book cycle: from drafting, to revision, to feedback, to publishing and promotion. 

First Book Finish is a one-stop-shop for writers—an online course combined with weekly group coaching, accountability, and the intensive support you need to get your book into the hands of readers.

Registration opens again this spring. 

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