pre COVID-19
  1. Wake up.
  2. Drink Coffee. Eat Oatmeal.
  3. Get Kids to Go to School.
  4. Dress. Stretch. Tie Shoelaces.
  5. Go Outside.
  6. Head to the Gorge and Run.
  7. Pay attention. Get Distracted. Notice some things, ignore others.
  8. Return home and write about it.
during COVID-19 (early 2020)
  1. Wake up.
  2. Breathe.
  3. Drink Coffee. Eat Breakfast.
  4. Breathe.
  5. Dress. Stretch. Tie Shoelaces.
  6. Breathe.
  7. Head to the Gorge no later than 8:45 to avoid crowds. Run. Stay at least 6 feet away from others. Mostly run in the street, or the grass.
  8. Pay attention to your distance from others. Do not touch your face or wipe the sweat off your forehead. Keep your gloves on.
  9. Try to notice the river or the birds or the sky. Try to forget about pandemics for a minute.
  10. Return home. Wash your hands, take a shower.
  11. Breathe.
  12. Look up how many people have died in MN and the US today. Put this data in the heading of your log entry. Write about the run.
during COVID-19 (early 2021)
  1. Wake up.
  2. Stretch.
  3. Make coffee. Avoid the news.
  4. Check Facebook, for the poem of the day, Twitter.
  5. Wake up kids.
  6. Eat Oatmeal.
  7. Dress. Put on shoes in basement.
  8. Bike on bike stand, watch an episode of Dickinson.
  9. Run on treadmill, listen to audio book or playlist.
  10. Go outside and record moment of sound.
  11. Write about Dickinson or my audio book or what I’m thinking about. Post my moment of sound on my log.
other writers’ routines

Many writers have told me that they have built up mnemonic devices to start them off on each day’s writing task. Hemingway once told me he sharpened twenty pencils; Willa Cather that she read a passage from the Bible (not from piety, she was quick to add, but to get in touch with fine prose; she also regretted that she had formed this habit, for the prose rhythms of 1611 were not those she was in search of). My spring-board has always been long walks. I drink a great deal, but I do not associate it with writing.

Thorton Wilder

I have kept a hotel room in every town I’ve ever lived in. I rent a hotel room for a few months, leave my home at six, and try to be at work by six-thirty. To write, I lie across the bed, so that this elbow is absolutely encrusted at the end, just so rough with callouses. I never allow the hotel people to change the bed, because I never sleep there. I stay until twelve-thirty or one-thirty in the afternoon, and then I go home and try to breathe; I look at the work around five; I have an orderly dinner—proper, quiet, lovely dinner; and then I go back to work the next morning. Sometimes in hotels I’ll go into the room and there’ll be a note on the floor which says, Dear Miss Angelou, let us change the sheets. We think they are moldy. But I only allow them to come in and empty wastebaskets. I insist that all things are taken off the walls. I don’t want anything in there. I go into the room and I feel as if all my beliefs are suspended. Nothing holds me to anything. No milkmaids, no flowers, nothing. I just want to feel and then when I start to work I’ll remember. I’ll read something, maybe the Psalms, maybe, again, something from Mr. Dunbar, James Weldon Johnson. And I’ll remember how beautiful, how pliable the language is, how it will lend itself. If you pull it, it says, OK.” I remember that and I start to write.

Maya Angelou