Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Routines and Life Changes

I like routine. My wife can attest to this. Just try talking to me while I'm reading the comics over my breakfast. My entire life, it seems, has been spent trying to find a routine that will cover everything I want to accomplish. If you're not snickering yet, you're probably not even out of high school. Establishing a routine around the dynamic schedules of school age children is next to impossible.

For the writer, it's even worse. I know I have to write every day. 100,000 words don't just happen by themselves. I don't care how many monkeys you have. I've tried pretty much every time slot during the day, from 4am to 10pm. At 4am I end up with two pages of gibberish. At 10pm I can't get to sleep afterwards because my mind is still plotting (note the title of this blogsite).

I think, though, that I've about got it this time. The new job made that possible. Since I don't a have to be at work unitl 9am, I get a nice gap of time in the morning when kids are sleeping in the summer or getting ready for school the rest of the year. So I pop up--okay, I slither out--at 6am, eat, and write for an hour. That left me with plenty of time to get ready for work and even some time for morning devotions.

Then my back starting hurting again. Did I mention I sit all day at this new job. That's as hard on the old spine as heavy lifting. So I whined, naturally, looked into joining a gym and coughing up $50 a month, as if the $50 would buy an extra hour in the day as well.

So-here's the lifestyle change-I started running after my writing time. This works out well. I'm sure my local writing friend Mark Terry is nodding his head right now. Maybe I'll pass him some morning if I ever run that far. The point is, we've gotta focus on the earthly trilogy--Mind, Body, & Spirit...oh, yeah, Spirit.

Does praying during the morning drive count?


Heather said...

It's hard for me to pray during the morning drive and yell at stupid drivers at the same time, but I have found that praying while running is a good thing. It is freeing in a mind-wandering stream of consciousness sort of way.

Mark Terry said...

I bike, not run these days, and spend time at the gym.

As you know, I used to write in the evening & insomnia seemed part of the gig--my brain wouldn't shut down.

Elmore Leonard used to write in the morning before going to work and he said his motivation was he wouldn't allow himself coffee until he'd gotten his quota in.

I wrote much of the rough draft of THE DEVIL'S PITCHFORK during my lunch hours at Ford Hospital, scribbling with pen and yellow legal pad, then typing it into the computer when I had time in the evenings later. Don't want to do that again, but it worked.

Gina said...

If praying in the shower counts, so does praying on the morning drive!

I was up to 2am last night, not writing...but blogging. Ugh! I think I need to rethink my schedule! At least the kids let me sleep in until 10am.

Heather said...

No coffee until quota! How on earth is someone supposed to meet quota sans coffee?
Got the insomnia thing. That must be a good sign as it seems to keep good company.
By the way, does anyone else ever feel like reading the word verification is akin to breaking the Rosetta Code?

Dineen A. Miller said...

LOL! Heather, that's funny.

Hi guy! You and I are on the same wavelength! I finally figured out a schedule that work, but the key was that I turned everything off while I wrote. Now I shut it all down--email, IM, and the door! LOL! I got three chapters done that way last week. Yep, they're sitting in your box. He he...

Mike Ehret said...

Yikes! Everywhere I decide to go Dineen Miller is there!

Ron, like the blog! I used to get up at 4:00 each morning to write -- finished a whole book that way. Then we moved the computer downstairs without thinking that through...yep. My 22-year-old son, who sleeps until, well, I'll let you know when he wakes, doesn't much appreciate Dad writing at 4:15 outside his door.

Wah-ah-ah... So now, I come home from work (I'm an editor) and sit down to the computer. I get a half hour inbetween work and home to not type! But I'm still sitting.

Oh, I loathe and detest routine, by the way. My job starts at 7:30 -- I think I need a later job...

Write on...