You guys seem to like knowing a bit more about me as a person, so I’m going to give you a bit of insight into what a normal day looks like for me.
I am a freelance developmental editor and indie author. I’m also an insomniac so I don’t have a regular sleep-pattern, I sleep when my body feels it needs it. Sometimes that’s from 7pm – 4am, other times it’s from 6am – 1pm. It moves around day by day. This means that I do not have a daily routine, I really don’t like routines, I need variety and the ability to think and change things.
This is a look at what an average day is for me. I will note that I do all of the housework, paperwork, and 98% of the errands for both husband and me. Husband’s a freelance editor as well, so I do both of our paperwork. We’re usually no more than 6 feet away from each other pretty much every waking hour, we never argue. I’m a very lucky lady, I am also getting side-tracked. Ahem.
I fall out of bed whenever my body has concluded that it’s had enough sleep. From there I stumble my way into the living area and go searching for a drink of some form, usually water. It takes me about ten minutes to go from bleary-eyed to wide awake and ready to work – I had a lot of practise in uni!
The first thing I’ll do once I’m actually awake is check over what I’m doing for the day and formulate some form of a plan. If I’m up late in the day, say 3pm, then errands get priority. The shops, bank, and such close at 5pm so whatever needs to be done with those has to be done before they close. If I’m up early at say 4am then editing gets priority. I’ll look over what I did the last day and see what I need to get done this day. I tend to have a quick glance at my emails before I dive into work proper, just to make sure that there’s nothing urgent in my inbox.
I’m really, really, bad when it comes to food. I often completely forget to eat. My body’s usually telling me that my throat’s been slit and I’m starving to death after about an hour of work, sometimes I make it to three hours, it depends on if I remembered to eat dinner the night before.
I’ll check on Twitter while I eat breakfast and start eyeing my first cup of coffee. My focus is horrible. I cannot focus for more than ten minutes, but I work and type quickly, so I tend to flit back and forth between Twitter and work. I need that controlled distraction otherwise my mind will find other distractions.
After about six hours of freelance work I’ll be starting to need a bit of a change of pace, something of a break. Editing is so draining. That’s when I’ll start doing housework, paperwork, and if they haven’t been done, errands. Errands can be anything from running down the bank, to getting groceries, to going to the post-office, to buying more tea and coffee. The coffee shop owner loves me, she has about 18 different coffees and 40 or so teas. I wander in and pick out 6 – 12 coffees at a time 😀 I’ll go through a minimum of 4 cups of coffee a day. If it’s a rough day or I didn’t sleep well if could get up to 7 cups of coffee, probably 6 cups of tea, and as many glasses of coke or mountain dew that I can lay my hands on. Caffeine is important.
Somewhere between eight to nine hours after I got up I’ll make lunch. Lunch is the biggest meal of the day in our household. We’ve found that that allows us to work for longer and sleep better. After some eight hours we’re beginning to lag a bit, so a good lunch picks us up and keeps us working for another six to ten hours, depending on workload.
I tend to take about forty five minutes after lunch to do my industry reading and relax a little bit. That’s where I catch up on the blogs from the publishing industry leaders, I read my forums, explore marketing opportunities, and all that stuff. That’s pretty focused on the business and marketing side of being an indie.
I’m a workaholic, I push myself far too hard, so I’ve had to put some little safety features in place to try and stop myself from burning out again. After lunch I’ll take a good hard look at my energy levels and where I’m at with freelance work. I try to stop freelance work a maximum of four hours after lunch.
Once I’ve wrapped up freelance work, paperwork, housework, and errands, I can start looking at my fiction. I know that everyone says you’re supposed to prioritise your fiction, that it’s important, you must make time, etc. Yes, that’s true, but I also have to pay my bills. I do housework first because I will be distracted if it hasn’t been done. It’ll niggle at the back of my mind and stop me from settling properly.
Once work’s been completed and my time is mine I take a deep breath and meditate for five minutes. It does me good to relax, let go of the day’s work, and refresh my mind. This is where I look at where my fiction sits and decide what I can do. If I’m really inspired to write, then I write. If I’m not inspired to write and there’s editing to be done, then I throw myself into that. If there’s no editing to be done and I’m not inspired to write I’ll dig into marketing research and industry reading. I may try and do some plotting and exploring of whatever idea/s I’m working on at that time. I’ll keep going until I’m too tired to produce anything of value.
That’s a very standard, average day.
Some days there won’t be as much freelance work so I can wrap that up in a few hours and really make some progress on my fiction. I do give myself one day off a week, so that’s quite often spent catching up on tv, listening to music, and playing around with my fiction. Some days I’ll have a lot of stuff to get done. If I have to deal with the doctors then that takes half a day and is tiring. No two days are the same, and that’s good for me.
I have music playing throughout the day, it helps me focus and creates a mental bubble to keep me on track. I shared my Spotify tracks a little while ago, sometimes I’ll listen to BBC Radio One for a change. Oh and I work from my sofa most of the time. Sometimes I’ll move over to the dining room table, but I’m usually on the sofa. I know, I know, it’s bad for me, but it’s comfortable and it’s where I’m happy.
I think that about covers it. Caffeine, editing, and more caffeine!
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How does your day compare?