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Three Days Along

So far, this full-time writer thing has been … weird.

Several people warned me that it would take a while to catch up on sleep, and they weren’t wrong. I’ve been sleeping in a bit and feeling surprisingly tired in the evenings. I’ve even crashed for the occasional nap.

I’ve gotten a bit of writing done, roughly at the same pace I’d been doing before. (I’m up to 11K words on Project Bob.) I’ve also started chipping away at various chores and errands and home maintenance things. Part of my brain is grumbling that I haven’t made more progress on the new book, but I’m trying to cut myself some slack this first week. This is a recovery and transition time.

It’s also the last week before the kids go back to school. Starting next week, I’ll be alone from the time I wake up until mid-afternoon when I head out to pick up my daughter. I suspect that will make a big difference when it comes to being able to focus on writing, or whatever else I need to work on.

Without the structure of the day job, I’m working on putting together my own schedule. I’m hoping my days will look something like this:

  • 8 a.m. – Wake up. Grab breakfast.
  • 8:30 – 10:30 – 10 hour/week freelance opportunity. (I’m still waiting to see if this works out, but if it does, it would be a nice, small, steady paycheck to supplement the other writing income.)
  • 10:30 – Noon – Writing! (Or grocery shopping and other errands, when needed.)
  • Noon – 1:00 – Lunch.
  • 1:00 – 3:00 – Writing!
  • 3:00 – 3:30 – Pick up my daughter.
  • 3:30 – 4:30 – Writing!

There could be evening writing work as needed, and weekends as well, but if this works out, it means I’m getting 3-4 hours of writing time every day before stopping to make dinner.

I’m also planning to start exercising again in the evenings. I started with 20 minutes on the exercise bike last night. If I can get back into the habit, it will help the depression, the diabetes, and just get me back into better shape overall.

Other things I need to figure out:

  • Making time for socializing and getting out of the house.
  • Making sure the housework and such doesn’t devour all of my writing time.
  • How much to try to work in the evenings and weekends. (I know I want and need more time to relax with my family than I’d been getting before.)

It all feels a bit surreal right now, and it will be another week before I start to have anything approaching “normal” full-time writer days.

But I already feel more rested and less stressed than I did a week ago. So far, so good!

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
sarahmichigan
Sep. 2nd, 2015 05:08 pm (UTC)
Good luck with it all, Jim! I find exercise is a great anti-depressant, but the research I've looked at indicates it works best if you are constantly challenging yourself, not just doing the same routine a few times a week. Just something to think about once you're exercising more regularly.
martianmooncrab
Sep. 2nd, 2015 05:39 pm (UTC)
you might be surprized by how much sleep your body thinks it needs to make up for before, and of course, remain flexible on your day, it might turn itself upside down to work.
dichroic
Sep. 2nd, 2015 06:50 pm (UTC)
I think the one question I'd ask is, just when are you most productive? I ask because this looks to me like a schedule that asumes you're equally good at writing over all parts of the day. (This is probably something that won't change much from your former job to this one, so you already know the answer.) Or maybe it's a little more granular - when are you best at which kinds of work? Lots of people get dozy after lunch, for instance. If it turns out your most focused time is in the morning, for instance, then the next question becomes, do you want to spend that "best" time on freelance work or your own writing? Similarly, if you were to try writing after lunch, would you be likely to nod off? If so, that might be the time for errands and shopping.

Sorry if this is stuff you've already thought through - it's mostly coming from my own experience, in the 6 months I took off from office work to write a (nonfiction) book. You're probably already better at committing to butt in char and fingers on keyboard than I was when I started, since you've been doing it all these years - I had to set myself a word goal for each day. Maybe it's stuff you'll need to work out by trial and error; mostly I just want to say, don't be surprised or beat yourself up if it turns out there are parts of each day in which you just don't get any writing done.
deborahblakehps
Sep. 2nd, 2015 10:34 pm (UTC)
I never get as much done as I think I'm going to. Sigh.

As for that exercise and socialize thing, let me know when you figure it out :-)
jimhines
Sep. 3rd, 2015 01:50 pm (UTC)
I don't think I know anyone who's as productive as they'd planned/hoped. But it's nice to fantasize about all the books I'll write this month and everything I'll get done around the house...
deborahblakehps
Sep. 3rd, 2015 05:08 pm (UTC)
Well, you are a fantasy writer, so in a way, that means you're working, right?
(Deleted comment)
jimhines
Sep. 3rd, 2015 01:16 am (UTC)
Yeah, I suspect the schedule won't survive first contact with reality :-)
attilathepbnun
Sep. 3rd, 2015 01:06 am (UTC)
No school bus? *is puzzled*
jimhines
Sep. 3rd, 2015 01:15 am (UTC)
School of choice.
attilathepbnun
Sep. 4th, 2015 11:33 pm (UTC)
Aah! I was thinking some kind of mechanical failure resulting in a bus-shortage! *wipes brow in relief*
cathschaffstump
Sep. 3rd, 2015 01:28 am (UTC)
You'll get it together. :)

It's nice that you get to catch up on sleep. A recently retired teacher friend started doing yoga and getting into shape, and meditating.

She said that those of us who work have no time to live. You can totally do this.

Not that you're not working. But you can figure out when to do yoga, so to speak.
jimhines
Sep. 3rd, 2015 01:49 pm (UTC)
I think (and hope) this change will mean good things for my physical and mental health, as well as for my writing.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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