Summer is fading quickly and the routines of school and work are more normal. With that in mind, I began to reflect on what my ideal writing day would look like. As a freelance writer I’m not certain there is a “normal” day, but having a schedule to strive for is important. Scheduling makes me more efficient and holds me accountable. In the month of August I found myself wandering off course. We had a family vacation and my son attended two hockey camps, and before I knew it all of my writing routines went out the window. As you can see in the picture, I penciled out my ideal schedule. It isn’t logical to expect this schedule to be followed to the letter everyday, but I believe setting this as a goal is key to becoming the writer I want to be.
Putting Myself First
The focus for this schedule is all about me. In order for me to perform at my best I need to take care of myself. My exercise routine is sporadic at best. I try to fit it in where I can and that doesn’t work. I believe putting exercise first thing in the day will make me more productive, and center my mind to focus on writing. I pride myself on being a family man and I receive immense joy spending time with my son. Often I will do activities with him during the day and then do my writing at night. The problem with that model is my brain quits working, and my writing suffers. With my son back in school the guilt won’t be so heavy and he will have homework to complete too, so we’ll both be working.
I’m a Writer
I need to think in terms that are conducive for a writer, because I am one. If I’ve learned one thing from my mentors, is that in order to be successful I need the mindset of a business owner. Writing is not my hobby; it’s my job. I have also decided on what “type” of writer I want to be. I will author books and I will write articles. Notice how I put my creative writing in the beginning of the day when my mind is fresh. The schedule was built with writing outcomes in mind. It has been a little over a year since I stated that I will be a writer. Well, the will be is gone and action has commenced. I’m selling articles and I’ve started my first novel. By golly, I am a writer.
Putting the Cart Before the Horse
One problem, there is no way at this time I can adhere to this schedule. My writing income isn’t enough to meet household budget demands, so I’m back in the classroom teaching to make ends meet. However, in the near future I expect to make this a reality and hopefully use it as a base to meet my financial goals. And even though I’m not there yet, I believe laying out this schedule will motivate me to do even more. So I will write in between lesson plans and grading essays. It’s not a perfect scenario, but the ball is rolling in the right direction. Creating this schedule is just one more piece of the puzzle of freelance writer.
Do you keep a schedule? What does your ideal workday look like? What aspects of my schedule would you keep and what would you change? Please leave a comment.