My writing routine…And some random thoughts.

I remember reading On Writing by Stephen King a few years back and highlighting the heck out of that book. So many quotes resonated with me.

Like this one:

“Sometimes you have to go on when you don’t feel like it, and sometimes you’re doing good work when it feels like all you’re managing is to shovel shit from a sitting position.”
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

Or this one:

“Optimism is a perfectly legitimate response to failure.”
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft


And so many more…

I used to work more than 50 hours a week. It used to take me more than a hour to get to work so I would be out of the house  before 7 a.m. and would not usually be back well after 7 p.m.

During that time, I wrote super duper early in the morning, in the train, on the weekends. I trained myself to write in sprints. And I wrote an entire novel in-between work and business trips and trying to stay on top of things, One, Two, Three which came out on June 26th, 2014.

But now? Now, I work part-time as an adjunct faculty. I’m home a lot more. I have a different schedule, and I am way more productive writing-wise but sometimes it feels like my writing sometimes becomes invisible.

Like it’s in a way more challenging to explain the time it takes to write. Before, I was so busy working, travelling for work, on my blackberry every few seconds, answering phone calls, organizing conferences and bigger events that people didn’t understand when I had time to think about writing a book, let alone actually write a book. I had to make the time.

I still do.

I still have to make the time. Because one can get distracted so easily. One can always find something else to do. One can always find excuses about not writing.

Writing isn’t easy. Writing takes time. Revising takes time. Editing takes time. There’s that one sentence that can take you weeks, even though the rest of the book seems easier. Writing isn’t yet supporting me and my family, financially-wise. And I know I’m lucky to be able to work part-time and have more writing-time than before. So, I need to make sure it stays a priority. It’s not only my passion, it’s not only a hobby, it’s one of my jobs.

And it makes me happy.

In a year, I wrote a novelette, a novella, and two novels. I handled designing the covers of three of those books. I handled marketing, formatting. I handled foreign translations, those covers, part of their marketing. I’ve been busy.

I still wake up before 5 a.m. during the week.

I still struggle with wondering if it’s all worth it. If I will ever make a living out of writing.

I still think writing helps me to stay sane.

I do have more time for myself. I have more time to clean the house, walk the dog, spend time with friends, cook, watch TV, read. I have more time to relax.

It’s not as chaotic time-wise that it used to be. But it doesn’t take away from the fact that writing sometimes consumes me. That it’s still hard to write. That I haven’t it all figured out.

And I think it’s okay.

Because I am a better writer now than two years ago. Because I’m still learning. Because I realize that I’m lucky to be able to dedicate more time to my writing.

Not everyone can. I wasn’t able to before. And I wouldn’t be able to if it weren’t for my husband supporting us financially at the moment.

And I’m also lucky because Stephen King was right about one more thing.

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Now, time to get my ass on the chair and write (in this case, time to get my ass on the chair and face the blank page to outline)

Observations, reading, writing

The Balancing Act

We all juggle. We all have responsibilities. No matter what they are and while sometimes I wonder why I didn´t decide I wanted to take writing seriously when I had less on my plate, I do find time to write now. We all do. More or less but we still do. We also find the time to read. We go through the balancing act.

My time is my commute. However, my commute does take a toll on me. The train gets late, cancelled. I also have to take the bus to the to the train so I rush between the bus and the train. I run. I curse. I get annoyed. I don´t always find the silver lining. So this week I am renting a car to see how long it would actually take me to drive to work instead of taking public transportation, to see if I can gain time. According to my friend Google Map which includes Traffic estimation, I could gain 30 to 45 minutes each way. Crazy.

My day currently looks like this:

  • 5am: Wake up
  • 5am-5.30am: work out in front of Friends (this gets me going and makes me laugh – always a plus)
  • 5.30-6.42: get ready (breakfast, shower, coffee, get snacks, kindle, ipod, netbook ready) and leave the house
  • 6.42am: walk to bus station (or be driven by hubby – if he´s not already gone working out)
  • 6.52am: Bus
  • 7.06am: Train (aka writing + reading time)
  • 7.47am: Metro
  • 8.00am: At my desk at work
  • 5.30pm or 6pm (sometimes later): leave office – train – bus (writing and reading in the train again)
  • Get home between 6.45pm and 7.45pm and then dinner, time with hubby and sleep…

Yes, it is busy but on most days, the train time gets me about 1 hour of writing/revising or undivided reading time. Soon, I may decide that driving does get me more time at home, aka more time with the hubby…I can rearrange my schedule to write more in the morning before leaving, or during my lunch break or I could write in bed.

But I know that I will find the time to write because, really, I just don´t see myself not writing or revising…Writing/Revising/Reading is part of my balancing act. It´s part of who I am.

How do you balance everything? Anybody else tried to write in bed?