So I have the one novel published and two more US ones completed waiting for rework, an older US one that I plan to revisit, a British one that my agent is looking at and another British one now being written.
Sometimes when the momentum of publications slows down, and in my case my agent wants to find the right one to go with next, it can feel as if not a lot is happening. But if course it is. And I am here writing every day. In fact, now the new one affectionately known as Dotty is being allowed to take on a path of its own the obsessing is beginning. And I love that.
But my life is changing and I am having to adapt to that. I sometimes think I need that single-minded, only make time for writing attitude, but that means no life. A friend asked me the other day on Twitter about the importance of routines and I think they’re vital. I also like to change them once in a while though as they then feel new and it can inject life into those established patterns.
My routine is pretty simple: I show up for work at 5 or 6, the 5am thing didn’t work so well as it’s so cold but as the mornings get lighter and warmer I may well return to it. And why so early? Well, when I had the regular go to work job I had no choice. It was the only way I could write and get what I felt I had to done. It also meant that once I left the house I had already accomplished the most important thing, the thing that meant the most to me, indulged my passion for fiction writing. Writing early I find energising and when the best ideas come. I also used break times and worked in the evenings.
When I started to work from home I was able to get up at 7.30 and after walking the dog, started work at 8.30. I loved keeping more regular hours and I tried to have evenings off, although it wasn’t always possible.
Then I moved and now I choose to go to the gym for at least 2 hours every morning and so I am back to early starts to make up for that. It comes down to a philosophy I strongly believe: if you want something, you will make the time for it. If not… you will make an excuse.
Lately my reading has been slow and I miss that so I have decided to add into my routine time in the day to read. I might read in bed for half an hour in the mornings and evenings so it will mean adjusting times for things again but it can be done.
Routine is vital and none more so than when you work from home as your own boss. I always have been a swat and never sit still for long without doing something. I always knew working from home would suit me because I am a writer of lists (love to see those ticks as the day goes on) and I am a planner, and a dreamer too but I always have to get my work done. I see myself as a doer and so routine is vital. Some might say a creature of habit although every once in a while the routine must change, if nothing else, to keep it fresh.
So I blog, I write, I work out, I write, I eat lunch and then I work. I used to barely take a single break but now I do because I have more distractions here! New friends, shops close by (closer than in countryside where I was!) and a fella who pops in for coffee. So I have had to accommodate the changes, even though I worry that the single-minded only thing I could think about is writing is changing too. But then I think… how can we write if we have no life? And maybe, actually, the balance was off before?
Embrace change when it comes; it’s something I learned recently, but it is not always easy when you’re the control freak I am!!! But I know as soon as my agent thinks I have something ready to go with and the momentum kicks in, the routine will have to change again… and I say BRING. IT. ON.
The hardest thing as writers is to remember that patience is vital and it will happen when it does. But a little nudge every now and then is a good thing. I also think I might want to study again soon and have been looking into scriptwriting classes, although I wonder how I will make the time for those, but I know I will… if it’s important to me!
If you’re a procrastinator by nature, working from home and writing might not work as well! People think I watch lots of daytime TV. Think again, I never stop working… although the series revisiting people who found a life ‘downunder’ on BBC in the mornings can distract me when I get back from the gym, but usually work wins!
Have a great weekend everyone!
Weekends are when routines can go out of the window and for me frequently do!