The Routine

I’m really trying to find my rhythm.  Between writing, editing comics, editing for CBR and any consulting that comes in, I’m all over the map at any given times.  My schedule, if you can call it that, is in shambles.  I have no sense of routine or consistency, which definitely affects my work.  Right now there are no fewer than 10 actionable items on my To-Do list.

My routine currently goes as follows:

  • Wake up as early as possible
  • Worry about what’s on the To-Do list, money, what needs to be written
  • Try to write
  • Put out fires (AKA answering email and doing anything that results in American cash money dollars)
  • Try to write
  • Look for work
  • Try to write
  • Think about blogging, remember it doesn’t pay
  • Try to write
  • Waste time
  • Try to write
  • Dodgeball/gym/life
  • Try to write
  • Go to sleep as late as possible

Of course, I’d be lying if I said every “Try to write” involved more than me musing, “I should try to write” before inserting a giant “BUT…” and finding something seemingly more productive.  I’m getting more writing done the last couple months than usual, and just turned in a first draft of a creator-owned book to my artist and co-creator, but I still don’t feel anywhere near productive.  And I’m still not any closer to knocking out a screenplay, though after a talk with Hill I’m pretty sure this current idea, once broken, will find its way to finished.

My biggest hurdle is the whole “Creative On Demand” struggle.  My focus is never in one place, and all I have to blame is life and needing to do 12 different things at any given time.  It’s not facebook or twitter or video games, though none help.  It’s the fact that I don’t have any regularity (fiber helps) and can’t seem to find a way to cheat a normal routine into my hectic schedule.

Hell, I was supposed to go to sleep between 9:30 and 10pm tonight and I’m typing this at a quarter to midnight after spending two hours on the phone doing tech support type stuff on two different SlingBoxes.  Unexpected, nonessential, but it’s tough to say no to family.  And I think I had been delaying that phone call for the better part of three months.

Creative people, how do/did you set your routines?  How do you stick by them?

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3 thoughts on “The Routine

  1. 3-4 hours sleep a night. Drink when I write to calm down the apprehensions in my mind. And the times when I need to get away and write, I do. No phone, TV or anything. Rent a hotel room for a night or get away to just to really immerse myself in it.

    The hotel rooms may or may not come with hookers, but that’s just an occupational hazard?

  2. I read something that said the subconscious mind takes 20 days to fall into a pattern so I forced myself to think about writing for 5 hours a day for 3 weeks. I can’t take more than a week away from it without losing the rhythm but it helps. Also, I avoid real life almost entirely.

  3. Somewhere betwen third shift dropping kids off and getting 3-4 hours of sleep, I can’t stop trying to write because I look at my twitter feed and I see all you cats doing freelace work and making it without having to work a “traditional” 9to5..so I pop a monster low carb (these things make me feel high) I’m trying to narrow down my strenghts as far as topics go, thanks to BryanHill..He told me to write what I know…well I think know alot but, what is consistent is my damn day job as a C.O. I used to be all over the map, but what do i know best…yep..C.O. work and prisons..and now this is were all of my ideas for comics and shorts steam from..That helps me to simplify when and what i write..

    I the only time i get is during the day when my kids are at school and day care. I switch to third shift at my job, just so I can come home and write. BUT the trick is you can go home and knock out…you got to only get like three hours in…get up work, just so you dont go dull, hit the gym after that, expect kids or go pick them up….enters the wife. After that it’s evening and all writing and everything creative must shut down(learning how to color my own comics, drawing kids book. trying to find writing gigs) deal with family all at once, get a nap and back to work..

    of course…it does not always happen that way..but that is the Aim..

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