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.

Furlough schedule: not quite the life of a full-time writer
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