Regular readers of this blog will know that I have toyed with many different types of routine. Routine is something which is important to me. I guess it comes from once having a regimented, conventional career for quite a while and the thought now of having a routine makes me feel as though I have a proper job.
Over the last two years of full-time writing I have played around with the routine and tweaked it, desperately trying to find something which works. I currently feel quite settled in my newest routine and also, more importantly, quite productive. Let me show you…
I have children and, due to the laws of the land, they have to go to school. Sadly, they also have to come home from school as well, but despite this tragedy, I still do my best to talk to them occasionally when they’re here. So, my routine has to fit in around the little cherubs. Anyone with kids will know what I’m talking about and how much of a challenge it is to be creative with kids around.
It was important for me to find a way of working which enabled me to stop dead at a particular point in the day.
6:30 – 8:30 – After waking, I then set off on the morning treadmill of shouting, eating, lunch making, bag packing, sock finding, book finding, more shouting, counselling, washing, dressing, uniform monitoring and finally, driving.
8:45 – 9:45 – Once they’re at school, I’ve now started going to the gym. This isn’t something I’m particularly used to but I was increasingly becoming sluggish from this writing way of life and knew I had to do something. I’ve surprised myself to find that I actually enjoy it. I either swim or run, and on the run days I listen to a writing-related podcast which puts me in the right frame of mind.
10:00 – 11:00 – I’m back home now and in my office, my sanctuary, my prison. You, my darling reader of this blog, become my soul attention for the next hour. I really should write a post one of these days on the power of blogging, but suffice it to say that I find the whole process extremely cathartic. It also helps me to get into the writing rhythm as well, which is handy given that I’ll be doing a bit more of that later. After the blog is posted I treat myself to the one luxury of the day, an americano brewed up on my own swanky coffee machine. This bit alone beats working in an office.
11:00 – 12:30 – With the swirls of coffee steaming away in front of me on my desk I begin to get into the main event. My Book. Whichever project I’m working on, and whatever stage that project is up to, I dedicate this time to progressing with it. If I’m writing then I stick to a word target of 2,000 words a day. However, often with books you’re not writing but editing. It’s hard to put the same word target to this, so I just do the hours instead.
12:30 – 1:00 – Lunch. Usually a cheese sandwich in front of a pre-recorded episode of a sitcom. I’m loving the re-runs of Frasier at the moment.
1:00 – 2:30 – Back on with the writing. Another hour and a half session to either complete the 2,000 words, or dedicate to editing.
2:30 – 8:00 – Stop and collect children. Chaos once again descends upon my zen. The next five and a half hours are full with various moments of confusion mixed with genuine glimpses of affection. I fluctuate from being frustrated at the beginning of this period, through to appreciation and kindness, and then finally end with a strong desire for them to just go to bed and leave me alone.
8:00 – 10:00 – Depending on how productive I’ve been earlier, I either finish my word target or do something else which I’ve not had time to do. Then I either read, watch TV (although not as much as I used to), and occasionally talk to my wife about how her day has been. I then go to bed happy, blessed with rarely having a problem falling asleep.
In tomorrow’s post I’ll compare my routine to other authors and see how I fare.
Wow, that was tedious. Sorry about that. If you stuck with it all the way to bedtime then… night, night. XX.
Until next time…