Step 1: I turn on my computer. After my beloved PC died, my brother-in-law loaned me an old Apple (I do refer to it as Mac. Mac and me. We're good buddies). I usually bop around my room while it loads, straightening things, checking that no spies from SHIELD lurk outside my window. That sort of thing.
Step 2: I cure myself of the burning procrastination desire by giving my inbox a quick browse. I have to do this first. Who knows? There might be a six-figure offer for a publishing deal beckoning me. One must check these things first.
Step 3: I load Microsoft Word and pull up my documents. Since I'm in the middle of rewrites, I have two documents. One for the dumping obsolete scenes (I never delete anything...just in case). The other for my in-progress-manuscript. They take a few minutes to configure. In that time I might (but you know, I'm rarely tempted) jump onto twitter or facebook. I NEVER get distracted for long. Of course.
Step 4: I skim my last chapter and make a few edits. You know that word I agonised on keeping for fifteen minutes yesterday? Nah. Cut it.
Step 5: I stare out the window.
Step 6: Staring out the window usually brings to mind how I should start the next scene. This is the most time-consuming part. The staring. Sometimes it's ten minutes. Sometimes it's longer. Sometimes I go get something to eat as part of the staring process. Apples and peanut butter make excellent writing snacks.
Step 7: I type a sentence.
Step 8: Delete it. Delete it ALL.
Step 9: I repeat steps 7-through-8 for a while until I'm satisfied. If I was first-drafting, I wouldn't worry about this. But I'm REwriting. When rewriting IT MUST ALL BE PERFECT!
Step 10: Avoid turning into Hulk.
Step 11: Write for the next hour. If I'm focused, I can trudge through 1,500-words in an hour. If my Gamma has been acting up, it might be 2,000. I type fast on Gamma apparently.
Step 12: An hour is maximum for me, guys. If I'm near finishing a chapter, I'll keep going, but otherwise I need to give my Hulkish side time to get up and smash things. Sitting for a long, long time? Hulk no likee. I call it my Smashing Break.
Step 13: Return to writing in an hour. Delete half. Return to staring out the window.
Step 14: Write.
Step 15: Or smash. Whatever works best. (I'm flexible.)
what does your writing routine look like?! how long do you write for before taking a break?
(and do you ever take "smashing" breaks? be honest.)