Monday, August 3, 2015

Schedules aren't Just for Toddlers Anymore

If babies and toddlers are indeed creatures of habit (which, according to every pediatrician, parenting book, mom blog, and that weird lady at the park that one time, they totally are), then count me in as a fit-throwing, Ninja Turtle-loving three year old.


I am a creature of habit.


I wish my desk looked this nice.
Which is useful since I telecommute.

Sure, there’s a lot of freedom with working outside of an office, but I still follow a schedule that changes a few times throughout the year depending on my classes.



Right now I have a few weeks before class starts up again, so my morning schedule is fairly simple:

  • Wake up and shower.
  • Drag protesting kids out of my own bed (don't you have your own?) and get them downstairs and fed.
  • Tell them for the last god damn time to put their clothes on or they can't watch Ninja Turtles when they get home.
  • Drop kids off at daycare. Try to act like I enjoy listening to the same song for the millionth time.
  • Come back home, eat breakfast while listening to an audiobook or podcast, and guzzle coffee.


Five days a week I start my day off the same way. I have the same thing for breakfast, the same thing for lunch, and eat the same snacks at the same time of day.


OK I sound really boring.


But there’s a good reason behind it, I swear. All of these little things that go into my routine get me ready for a day of work filled with writing, editing, and pacing my living room when I hit a roadblock.

If I rolled out of bed and plopped down in front of the computer still in my PJs, guess how much work I’d get done? Well, my Twitter feed might look busy, but that’s about it.


The same goes with writing. You know, my own fiction writing, not work writing.


When I was just a ball of hormones and energy and cigarettes I could write whenever, wherever. Now, I like a bit of habit before settling into some productive writing time. (Right now, it’s in the afternoon after I take a lunch break.)


Struggling to commit enough time to writing is a burden that most writers carry, and that’s one of the reasons that I find routine and habit so incredibly important.


I mean sure, those visions of the innately perfect writer who puts pen to paper and produces brilliant works of art any time the fancy strikes is nice and all, but for the most part writing takes an enormous amount of dedication and hard work.


Do you have any pre-writing habits or rituals that get you into the mindset to write?

17 comments:

  1. Absolutely. If I don't sit at the computer first thing in the morning, like as soon as I get up bleary eyed with my first cup of caffeine then nothing, and I mean nothing gets done. I'll write for about two or three hours, and then I can begin my day outside of the office. Showering depends on if I have to go out into the real world. lol

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    1. Oh you are definitely brave to get going without any coffee!

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  2. It's great to have a routine because self discipline when working from home is a must. There is also that feeling of guilt when writing for yourself - there is always something else that 'should' be done but hey, go for it.

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    1. Yep, lots of self-discipline and to-do lists keep me on task.

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  3. Oh yeah. Writing is a lot of work. The only reason people stick with it is because they love it and can't stop. Otherwise I'm pretty sure no one would ever write more than one book!

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    1. Haha I hear you. I once went through a really frustrating point in life and announced to my husband that I was no longer going to write. He looked at me and said, "Of course you are."

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  4. Yep, yep, yep. It took me a while to realise that routine really works for me.

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    1. I'm glad you have a routine that works for you! I too resisted the routine for longer than I should have.

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  5. Struggling to commit enough time to writing is a burden most writers carry......well said.

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  6. I agree that it's important to have daily habits; once something becomes a habit, it's easier to get started. And the hardest part, for me, is getting started, because it always seems overwhelming at first. I like to go to cafes to write, so I always have to have a cup of coffee in front of me before I can start writing.

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    1. Having a cup of coffee before you start is good habit, but then again, I run on about 87% coffee so I'm perhaps a bit biased.

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  7. I also have some form of daily habit. Mine's work in the mornings (and blog when it's quiet.) Then I finish work in the afternoon (around tea time), have some coffee, and start writing.

    Lucky me, I work for the family business with my mom, and I'm part owner. AND my mom understands that sometimes writing is more important to me than to sit at a desk waiting for some work to come in.

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    1. It sounds like you have a fairly sweet set up!

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  8. I'm a creature of habit, too. My writing schedule is pretty non-existent right now. I'm hoping once school starts back up I'll be able to get in more of a routine.

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    1. I can definitely understand that yours is a bit hectic right now. Hopefully once school is back in session everything can get settled down into a better routine.

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  9. Doesn't sound boring at all. It's great you're able to work from home.
    Have a good evening:)

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