#SOL15: Routines

Routine:    a sequence of actions regularly followed; a fixed program.

Routines:  Sometimes the very essence of our lives

Routines:  a blessing?  a curse?  How do you know your routines are effective?


What is your routine for writing?

Specific paper?
Specific pen?
Specific chair/desk?

How did you develop your routine?

Writing with friends?

Writing with students?

 Developed over time?

In search of a writing routine?

Here is a link to the routines of 12 famous writers.  Does your “routine” parallel any of those?  Have you maximized your potential and your mindset to truly be “All that you can be?”  Are there some personal, professional or fun routines that need a bit of sprucing up, spring cleaning, or rejuvenation?

How much do “routines” influence your life?


What is your morning routine?

Do you need coffee or tea in the morning?

Cold caffeinated drink?

What gets you up and moving?

routine  sodahead.com  abc

What are your daily routines?

Are you a creature of habit at work?

At home?

In life?

routine to do list

What about family routines?

For back to school days? (dinner out after that first day of school!)

Birthdays? (surprise / not a surprise party?)

Holidays? (pie at 10 am for breakfast; dinner at 2 pm)

Anniversaries? (Who plans?)

Vacations? (Location determined by – ?)

Routines?  Habits?  

Which ones do you value?

Which ones are REALLY working for you? 

How do YOU decide?


Check out the writers, readers and teachers who are “slicing” here. Thanks to Stacey, Anna, Beth, Tara, Dana and Betsy at “Two Writing Teachers” for creating a place to share our work.  So grateful for this entire community of writers who also read, write and support each other!

24 responses

  1. All your wonderings are spot on! Your questions help me to see that when I keep to a routine (for me, going to Starbucks each morning before school and to blog on Sat mornings), I have that set time to think and plan and write. I especially enjoyed reading the routines of the 12 writers. Thanks for including that link.

    1. Sally,
      I loved those routines and that led to my “wondering” about whether my routines are effective or not. Asking questions and being reflective is always a good starting point.

      Somedays though I do wonder if I have created a routine for the routines solely due to some OCD tendencies!

  2. I love that you pose questions about routines rather than just relaying some of yours. This is something so worth thinking about especially as I fell into a vacation routine as easily as I fell out of my work routine.

    1. Thanks, some routines are easily changed. Others almost seemed cementing. I’m really wondering WHY?

  3. Sometimes I wonder whether my routine becomes a rut that I can’t get out of. There is a fine line between the two.

    1. Great point. I actually started wondering about this at mass last week. “Routines of church/religion” vs. other routines. I don’t have answers but I have a whole lot more questions about whether “comfortable routines” are necessarily helpful!

  4. Great questions. I find my routines QUITE comforting, but they don’t always work for me. I like trying out new ones… mixing it up. But how easy it is to slip back into the cocoon of a well-worn routine!

    1. It’s so great to have a “fall-back” well worn routine. But how does that work for our kiddos who have few stable routines. Routines and organization have been some “drive-time” thinking topics!

  5. Great post, Fran!

    I used Terje’s SOL question to think deeply about what kind of writer I am. From there, I noticed I have some stable routines… things I fall back on that just seem to work when I get stuck.

    1. Thanks, Stacey!

      We don’t all use the same routines so I do get frustrated with an “only this” routine for all kids – rarely does a “one-size-fits-all routine work for students, families or adults!

      One thing that you said is key – what works when you are stuck! That’s a skill to teach kids!

  6. My routines drive me and when the unexpected happens I need to adjust and that is hard but that seems to be when life really happens. You really have me thinking on that balance. We can’t do without either of them. Too much of one and the other is meaningless. Hmmm. Thanks for making me think 🙂

    1. Julieanne,

      So do we just “do” the routines? We become so “routinized” that we move from one routine to another? Or is there a need for conscious decision making? should I do this or this?

      Wondering . . .<3

  7. For me, a routine tends to keep me focused and helps me get things done. Although, I have been known, on more than one occasion, to stray from routine when something better comes along.

    1. I love the flexibility of being able to reject the routine for something better, but I wonder if I keep routines past their “effective date” just because they are comfortable?

      Some routines save my brain because this is where I put my keys, computer stuff, etc. but I wonder if they are always “helpful”?

  8. I hate to admit this, but I am not a person who likes or does well with too many routines. I have two – morning coffee, and walking the dog twice a day…but that’s it. I guess I’m just a rebel! I thrive on changing things up and finding new ways.

    1. Tara.
      I’m glad that you admitted that! I have way too many routines. I think I need to reduce several EACH day! (And since our dog can run free in the timber – that’s two that I can re-purpose!)

      I need to “let it go” and that has nothing to do with the infamous song! THANKS! 🙂

  9. I really value the routine, but today, for instance I needed to get a slice done and I’m up cleaning and selling the house. So my slice popped out, while on break and looking at the lake, sure would be wonderful every day…but not possible. Having a flexible spirit is pretty important. Thanks for the ’12’. xo nanc

    1. Love the idea of a “flexible spirit” but it’s complicated. I think too “narrow of a focus” on routines could be paralyzing at some point; lack of any routines could also be paralyzing when stuck!

      What to do? Stick with a few routines!

  10. I love all the questions in your slice Fran. You’ve got me thinking now. And thanks for the link to the writing routines of famous writers. For some reason, that kind of information has always fascinated me. Are you going to be at TCRWP in June?

    1. Lisa,

      That is one HUGE YES – TCRWP for June Reading and Writing – dorming again!!! SO EXCITED! (Will you be there in June?)

      I loved the link for the writers – had to share! ❤

  11. Such a great RESOURCE Fran. Thank you for all the writers’ thoughts on routine. I’m thinking that could be helpful again and again both in my own writing and in working with others on writing.

    1. Thanks, Dayna!

      Such a nice mixture of authors in that link!

  12. I have many household routines (maybe too many, now that I think about it), and routines at work. Sadly, my writing routine is the one I am the least faithful to, but I’m working on it! Thanks for asking these questions, Fran. You’ve given me a lot to think about.

    1. Catherine,
      HaHa! I bet I have you beat! Household routines – laundry, cooking, pets, dishes, . . . but now I’m wondering about “rituals” vs. routines?

      Always food for thought!!!

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