Emma Collins
22 Jul

Today I'm going to be working on chapter 21, showing you guys my ordinary workday and how I fit writing around that. I don't think you need to write every day; I don't think anyone needs to write every day. I would burn out really quickly. Hello everyone, and welcome back to another blog. 

In today's blog, I'm going to be taking you guys through my realistic, ordinary writing routine, which I morph around my full-time work. I have been making these writing routine blog where I try out the routines of famous authors and see what practices work for me, and I've been getting a lot of requests from people to show what my ordinary writing routine looks like.

Breakfast and Morning Routine

It's currently about 7:30ish a.m., and I need to get breakfast, so let's hop to the kitchen and do that. I recently have been eating a lot of these protein oats, which are essentially baked oats with various flavorings. Today, it's cocoa, dark chocolate, and orange. This is my usual breakfast at the moment, which is just essentially baked oats with a bit of protein powder and some fun, funky flavors.

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Morning Meeting and Work Break

I now have a meeting at 8:00 a.m. There's no camera set up on my big computer, so I always take meetings from my tablet because it has a camera. After my meeting, I always feel really zonked. The best thing for my brain is to take a little break, go for a walk, get outside, and reset the dopamine in my brain.

The Importance of Taking Breaks

For ages, I would have meetings and then force myself to go straight to my desk and try to be really productive, but I would never concentrate and always get frustrated. It's important to take breaks and know what your brain needs so you can work efficiently. If I go for a half-hour walk, I am way more efficient than if I just have an extra half hour of work.

Lunch Break and Relaxation

It's currently my lunch break. I just had lunch, and it was so good. I'm taking a little bit of a break because it's important for me to manage my workload and energy levels so I can have the energy for writing after work. When I worked full-time in marketing, I was really badly overworked and underpaid. I never had time to let my brain rest, and I was burnt out for years. Now, I appreciate the value of taking breaks and giving my brain space to rest.

Afternoon Work Session

I've got 3 or 4 hours of video editing left to do today and my emails to handle. Hopefully, by around 5:00 p.m., I can start writing. I'm very excited because I have a lot of stuff I want to do tonight on the book.

Writing Time: Chapter 21

It's currently 5:23 p.m., and I am done with my other work for today. I'm now ready to move on to writing work. Today is Monday, and I will probably work like this most days this week. Normally, when I'm working on a project, I get to a point where the end is in sight, and I just want to do nothing but work on that project. Today, I'm working on chapter 21. I have various notes here, including my chapter outline and goals for this chapter. Let's get started.

Setting Up for Writing

I have a board with maps and diagrams that help me with the setting and layout of my story. This has been really helpful because I can't stick anything on the walls in my rented apartment. Having this board and being able to stick stuff on it and prop it up next to me has been really helpful.

Writing Session and Challenges

The writing session today was good, though I'm realizing I need to make sure I still have some energy left in the tank when I finish a writing session. This ensures that when I come back to writing, I am excited for the next chapter and not completely spent.

Reflections on Writing and Burnout

There are some weeks where writing feels really difficult and laborious, and other weeks where it's a lot of fun. Thankfully, I'm currently in the phase where it's a lot of fun. I can see these changes, and they're challenging but in the best kind of way. For most creative people with a perfectionist streak, it's very easy to be self-critical. However, having a sense of self-critique is essential for improvement. Despite being very self-critical, I'm really proud of the story and where it's going.

Final Thoughts

One of the things I've realized is that I don't need to write every day. The advice that you need to write every single day to be a successful writer is exclusionary and doesn't account for different schedules, abilities, and commitments. I wrote the last novel I worked on while holding a full-time job and pursuing a part-time master's degree. 

Many people write while working full-time, and it's entirely possible.Generally, I aim to write for three or so hours during the days I'm working and writing. I try to have a dedicated writing day each week and often write on weekends. However, I also prioritize spending time with loved ones and pursuing other hobbies.

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