Life has some pretty weird habits, and the strangest of them all is that it just goes on. It doesn’t stop; it never stops for anyone. But then again, maybe this is also one of its best habits too; that it goes on.
However, as the years go flying by one after another making those swooshing sounds on their way out, we can’t help but wonder that maybe even fewer years are left to achieve our self-set goals. (That reminds me, I’m yet to take the Mrs. to that Swiss holiday I’ve been postponing on one or the other pretext.) It is definitely a struggle to bring about a fixed routine in your daily life, especially if you are a full-time writer working from home. You set a daily goal for yourself in the morning, and by the time the day ends and you stare at all those unfinished writes, those half-baked articles, and that outline of the book you’ve been meaning to write, you realize that not even 25% of that goal was achieved, again. And then we look at those genius professionals, who keep minting out book after book, as if they were coming out of a factory of some kind.
So, what do these geniuses have that you don’t? The answer is actually quite simple- Discipline.
While you can always look around the net and find out the daily routines of some of the greats and try to imitate them- like Murakami who starts at 4 am daily and writes for six hours straight, or Steve King who makes it a point to write 6 pages daily- I’m not too sure if that is going to be of much help though. The reason why I say that is because it’s their routine; it’s what they have discovered over the years to be something that works out for them. Who is to say that the same would work out for you or me too? It might, it just might not.
What I am willing to do though, is to share my own daily routine with you. I’m sure you will be able to relate to it much better, since my journey is more local with realistic struggles and relatable challenges. First, a bit about me though- I am a full-time writer with 14 published books behind me, besides several hundred articles, published online on various websites, and in print in both national and international publications. I also work as a ghostwriter and have written some 19 novels so far for others; but, that’s a story for some other time. All that, in just the last 8 years.
So, how do I do it? How do I manage to write so much? Well, it certainly didn’t come easy. Like you and millions of other writers who aspire to write full-time from the comfort of their own homes, I’ve had my fair share of staring at blank pages and half-cooked articles I hated myself. In fact, there were days, weeks, even months on end when I wasn’t able to pen down a single decent enough paragraph. Luckily though, I did manage to make some friends online, those who had experienced what I was going through and lived to tell the tale. I discussed this issue of mine with some of them and almost everyone told me the same thing- that I was lacking discipline.
So coming back to the topic, I’m giving you my daily routine with the hope that it will inspire you to make some changes in your lifestyle turning it more productive and profitable.
I get up at 6 in the morning; mind you, not 6:01, not even 5:59- sharp at 6am. Till about 9:30am, I’m through with my breakfast, little exercise, some errands and a few chores around the house.
9:30am, I log on to my social media accounts and spend exactly an hour going through the responses to my previous day’s posts and promotions, besides putting up a new post for promotion.
At 10:30, I close the social media, disconnect my laptop from the internet and start to work on my various WIPs (work in progress), dividing equal amount of time to a maximum three of them per day, for the next 3 hours.
I come out of my study at 1:30 to fix up (read: nuke up) my lunch and spend the next half hour eating it while watching some TV program like Master Chef or something.
At 2:30pm, I’m back at my desk with a cup of coffee, and spend the next two hours writing articles for a few websites I freelance for.
At 4:30, I go to the gym in my society and run on the treadmill and do the cross-trainer for half hour. During summers, I alternate between the gym and swimming in the pool in the society.
At 5:30, I log back in to social media and once again check the updates, the rating and sales figures of my books, and finalize the promotional plan for the next day.
My day ends at 7pm, that’s when the Mrs. comes back from her office and the rest of the hours are spent in listening to how her day had been, and sometimes even telling her about mine (though she finds it utterly boring).
So, all in all if you see, I dedicate around 6.5 to 7 hours per day on writing. Come to think of it, that’s about the same someone working full-time in an office puts in, right? But then again, I do it from the comfort of my home. I’m blessed that way. J
I hope you manage to take something out this article and turn your life around. In case you have a question for me, or you generally feel like chatting me up, do feel free to hit me up on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Linkedin. You can also know better about me and my work on my website www.deepdowner.me
I look forward to hearing from you. Good luck and Godspeed!