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Day One, Part III

First came my very first day as a full-time writer.

Then came the first day of school for the kids, meaning I actually had my first day to myself as a full-time writer.

Today, just over four weeks since I left the day job, was the first day of my 10 hours/week job. I’d been hoping to pick this up both to provide a bit of structure to my week, and to supplement the erratic writing income.

What have I accomplished thus far? Well, I was able to turn around the revisions on Revisionary. I wrote up and submitted a pitch to DAW. And I’m up to 15,000 words on Project Bob.

There has also been a boy who was home sick for a week, followed by me getting sick. Not cool, germs. Not cool!

I remember chatting with folks about the transition. Harry Connolly wrote a guest post about apps for shutting out the internet and helping you focus on writing. A number of other writers mentioned doing the same sort of thing. And I read those posts and listened to those stories and nodded my appreciation, and somewhere in the back of my mind, I sat back all content and smug, knowing I would never need such tools. I’ve spent 15 years disciplining myself to shut out distractions and write during my lunch break…

I assume you know where this is going?

A few days ago, I was sitting down to work on Bob again. I’ve been struggling a lot with this one, and my word count reflects that. I finally forced myself to physically shut all those windows — email, social media, the works.

And damn if over the course of a single hour I didn’t double my wordcount from the previous day.

Lesson learned, thank you.

I’m also rediscovering yet again the importance of momentum. It’s so much easier to keep writing than it is to start writing. And the longer it’s been since you wrote, the harder it is to start up again.

Unfortunately, being at home during the day has led to a number of interruptions. Some are minor. Getting up to let the dogs out and back in is probably a good thing, since it periodically makes me get out of the chair and walk around a little. Constantly answering the phone last week when the entire freaking world decided it was a good time to call Casa Hines? Yeah, I’m letting at least some of those calls go to the answering machine now.

With all that said, it’s only been a month. Every week has been different. I’m hoping that as I start the part-time job, I’ll finally get closer to a stable schedule, and will be able to start strengthening some good habits and routines.

In the meantime, I’m still better-rested and generally happier than I was a month ago. Go me! :-)

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
deborahblakehps
Sep. 29th, 2015 11:04 pm (UTC)
Momentum. I needs some.

You're still rocking it, as far as I'm concerned.
attilathepbnun
Sep. 30th, 2015 12:01 am (UTC)
Here, have some of mine *hands over leftover momentum from work*

And Yaaay for both sick-boy and Jim being to longer sick!
And for the new part-time job!
And the writing, of course
mindyklasky
Sep. 30th, 2015 03:08 pm (UTC)
One of the things that continues to amaze me about this gig is how every week remains different - even when I'm in a long stretch of supposed sameness (drafting the same book, revising the same book, etc.)

It sounds to me like you're doing it right!
ada_hoffmann
Oct. 1st, 2015 09:28 pm (UTC)
Thank you for this series, Jim. As someone who dreams of one day being able to write full time, I find it fascinating to hear a day-to-day account of what it's actually like.
jimhines
Oct. 1st, 2015 11:42 pm (UTC)
You're very welcome, and I'm glad it's been helpful!

The process has been rather fascinating for me, too :-)
thewayne
Oct. 4th, 2015 03:46 pm (UTC)
I found turning off the volume on my answering machine, along with the phone ringer turned off, was quite helpful. I don't know if you have a smart phone or what brand, but I'd suggest programming it for a quiet time during your writing hours. On the iPhone, if people in your favorites list call twice within 3 minutes or something, it'll ring through, so priorities can still get ahold of you.

If you have a smart watch (I just got a Pebble Time Steel), you can probably get an app that will tell you to get up every hour for a minute or two to try to prevent deep vein thrombosis and other fun things.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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