My Day

My life is kind of boring. For all intents and purposes, we, I do the same things day in and day out. During the school year our routine is fairly set and, honestly, I like it that way. I have the kind of personality that enjoys predictable rhythms.

I took predictability and made it work for me.

This year our schedule changed and shifted and with it my writing time changed and shifted as well. My husband doubled his commute time to work. He leaves a lot earlier and gets home a lot later. I started watching a friend’s little girl who naps and does all the baby things. At the start of the school year I felt like I might never finish a novel again. I like the drama. It took time to figure out the new trajectory of our life, but I’ve settled into a groove and it is really working for me.

I shared before my original writing goal was to write 1 page every day. It was small, doable, and achieved immediate results. I’ve seen a great quote from Ray Bradbury telling you to write a short story every week. He said it’s impossible to write 52 bad stories in a row. He has a point. Another small, doable, achievable goal. I’ve tucked that nugget away for another year. I am currently writing the third book in a series and I don’t have time to dedicate to short stories.

It’s less about the time and more about the commitment.

I make time to write five days a week, but two days are typically dedicated to nothing but writing. The days I have kids in the house I steal about two hours during nap time to shoot out a blog or a few pages of Dandelion.

My dedicated writing days are my favorite. We wake early here, I’m typically up by 5 am, 6 am at the latest. I try to run three mornings a week but sometimes it only happens twice. I come home and get four kids ready for school, out the door, and on the buses. Those two hours of my day are filled with shenanigans, sleepy talks, and remembering all the school things. Once the last boy is on the bus I come home and shove some food in my mouth and shower, perhaps chug the rest of the coffee. At the beginning of the school year, I would lock myself in my studio and write until lunchtime, take a break, write for a few more hours. In December my manuscript was sent to my editor and I had free time to brainstorm the next book, work on other creative projects, and take a breather. When I came back to work towards the end of December, I realized working at home just wasn’t cutting it. I spent a ridiculous amount of time on the internet, played with the dogs, chatted with neighbors, and generally did not get work done. I decided getting out of my space was needed. Now on my days off I pack up, drive to Starbucks, and usually write an entire chapter in about three hours.

If you’re just starting down this writing path, I would encourage you to start small. I’ve generally found I produce more work in shorter periods of time than when I allow myself hours on end. That’s why going to Starbucks is working for me. It creates an imaginary pressure in my head that I can’t screw around while I’m there, I have to work. Tell yourself you’ll write for 30 minutes every day, you’ll produce one page every day, you’ll finish one short story by the end of the week. If you really want it, you’ll stop making excuses about it. Wake up earlier, go to bed a little later, cut out TV time, you get the point. Make your day and space work for you.

What goal did you set, achieve, and feel proud as hell about yourself over?

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