As I mentioned, my day job has become kind of defunct. Since October 2nd, I’ve been working at home on my other job, which is to say, this one, writing.
Rather than goof around, I set up a schedule for myself. The idea is that I wouldn’t fritter away if I were doing this full-time. The old saw about professional writers is that they shoot to write about 2,000 words a day. Of course, a lot more goes on than just writing new stuff when it comes to a published author’s workload, but the other parts aren’t discussed as much (editing, galleys, blurbing, front matter, covers, marketing, etc.).
The schedule has evolved to become:
- 5am: Get kids up and to school
- 7:30-9am: Editing or writing
- 9-11am: Editing or writing
- 11am: Exercise (weather permitting)
- 12pm: Lunch and reading
- 1pm: Video games, halloween garage, odds and ends
- 4pm: Pick up kids, homework help, housework
- 6pm: Dinner, kid activities, hanging with kids
- 8pm: TV/movies/story research
- 10pm: Bed
Since I didn’t expect the shutdown to happen, I didn’t have a plan on what to write at that volume each day. So I’ve been flying by the seat of my pants.
I also have a backlog of material to edit (it’s easy to rough draft a lot of novels and stories, much harder to edit them so that I can send them out without embarrassment). Finding the right balance is an ongoing effort.
But if I’m back at the day job soon, I won’t be able to perfect this full-time writer schedule. And I just realized that this isn’t a full-time writing schedule but a part-time one. The afternoon doesn’t include much in the way of writing, does it? Do video games count as ‘narratives research’? Okay, then this has been the life of a part-time but more part-time than my usual part-time, writer.