This morning, I lamented on Twitter how I don’t blog as much anymore, and was immediately smacked upside the head with the obvious answer: I could just blog more.
The problem is a good one: I’m not blogging because I’m writing so much. This new life, my friends. It really suits me. I write books and essays, I tweet, I Facebook, I send my emails. I’m writing ALL the time, and it’s rad.
I was talking to some friends the other day, and I realized that I’m finally over not feeling worthy of this.
I do deserve this.
I’ve written so much, and I’ve written so hard, and I’ve dedicated my life to this. Now I get to sit around and work even harder, and I love it.
Let me tell you about my days now. You know I’m the kind of person who unpacks in a tent, I love routine that much. So it took me just a few weeks to set up my new routine, which, for the last four months (four MONTHS of being self-employed!), has brought me so much joy.
I wake up. Whenever I want. I don’t set alarms anymore. I usually get up between 6 and 8, but I wait till my brain clicks on and I want to get up.
I shower. Sometimes. Not always.
I do yoga. Mondays tend be brisk yoga, which leads to gentler yoga on Tuesday and Wednesday, longer sessions on Thursday and Friday again. I say long, but I don’t go over 30 minutes, because that seems long to me. Daily is the trick for my success.
Then I get a cup of coffee, and this is the big change: Without looking at my phone, Twitter, or email, I quickly go over the words I wrote the day before. I’m not really revising, because that comes later, but I’m reminding myself what I wrote. I make notes about the plot in my sentence outline. I futz with words if I feel like it. Then I turn to my Midori Traveler’s Notebook (oh, how I love thee) and I plot out the words I’m going to write that day.
These two things, the going over yesterday’s words and plotting out today’s, have made writing so much easier for me.
I’m hitting 3,000 words a day without pain. Okay, it doesn’t hurt very much. First drafts are always hard for me, no matter what, but this one, the first book I’m writing as a full-time writer, is flowing. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that when I was working the 48-hour shifts at the fire station, I spent my days off in various states of recovery and battling migraines. Add working extra 24-hour shifts on trades, and I don’t know how I got anything written at all. I really don’t. I could revise a little in the middle of the night there, but I couldn’t work on anything serious.
This writing full-time thing? Let me say it again. It’s a-freaking-mazing.
After I plot, I let myself Check Things. I respond to emails. I look at Facebook. I tweet. I have breakfast and play with dogs a bit.
Then, at about ten, I start writing, and I don’t stop until I’ve hit my word goal for the day, which has been 3000 lately. 3k is a brisk pace to step through a book, but not so fast I lose control of the reins. I do this either on my writing couch, or at Mills, depending on whether or not I have plans for the rest of the day. If I have to go out later, I might as well write at the college, which feels still feels like a magical place to write (I lost my cafe when their prices went up so high I couldn’t justify a coffee). And lately I realized that not only does the library allow drinks, but it has carrels with electricity, good for my old computer which only gets about an hour of use without needing to be plugged in. I love it there. And I’m definitely getting my money’s worth out of that degree I earned there.
Then I’m FREE!
And by that, I mean I’m free to write other things. Like this blog. After I write this today, I’m going to work on an essay I’m writing for Clara Parkes (NAME DROPPING, yes, I just did that). After that, I’ll think about working on my new Patreon essay. I can easily keep myself working till 6pm, and often, till 9 or 10 at night. I’m really trying to be more balanced, though, so I try to walk away at 6. I fail most nights, but someday I’ll get it.
And I’ve been doing SO MUCH FUN STUFF.
I’m formatting book interiors, for those of you interested in going from a digital book to a print book. I’m good and I’m as cheap as you’ll find. (Did I mention Lala’s now unemployed? She’s unemployed. I should be panicking more, but I’m not. It’s just going to work out. It has to. But hey, if you know any front-end web developer jobs, let us know.)
I’m hosting two (TWO!) podcasts. My solo project is How Do You Write, and on it, I talk to working writers about their process (I love to think about process. See above.) And I’m cohosting The Business of Writing in Romance with Carolyn Jewel, and that’s so much fun, too. I’ve discovered that I really love doing the production for these. Lala says it’s just that I spent so many years being on a radio (fire/police radios) that I’m addicted to it now. (She might have something there.)
In fact, the Patreon essays on creativity are going to be a podcast, too. Interested? Get early access to them a month ahead of time by pledging as little as a buck an essay. I’m calling them Creativity Field Notes, because I really do feel as if I’m actively studying creativity, taking notes and reporting back.
Oh, my god, PLUS, I have a book coming out in two weeks. It’s getting awesome reviews on GoodReads, so add it to your list! Preorders available on all platforms. I love this series about sisters, small town, and love. Hopefully you will, too.
Best part about all this? I’ve been able to be present in my life. I see my friends. I hang out with my sisters. I walk the dogs. I am HERE.
I am so lucky. Yes. Absolutely. But it’s not just luck.
It was also damn hard work that got me here. I’m going to keep on working damn hard, and hell, if I need to get a part time job at some point, I’ll do that, no problem. But knowing that I can do this? That I can trust myself to work harder at making this work than anything else I’ve ever done leaves me feeling proud of myself.
That feels really freaking great.