A Normal Day of Writing: Find Your Natural Rhythms

What is a normal day like for me?

I get up early and exercise, sometimes taking a two mile walk, and sometimes going to the gym to bike and lift weight. Home again to get ready for the day.

I actually go to an office to work–lucky, I know. In the attic of our blue Victorian house–Mims House, in the Quapaw Historical District of Little Rock–I flip on my computer and get busy. I sort of ease into the day by answering email, checking stats on my blog and other business activities.

Then, I try writing for a couple hours. Lately, I’ve been using a Mac App called Freedom, which turns off access to the Internet for a specified length of time. When I’m disciplined enough to do that, I get in a couple hours of writing. But my stomach always interferes–lunch time.

Mims House
Mims House. I work on the 3rd floor of this Victorian House in the historic Quapaw District of Little Rock.

After lunch, on a good day, I’ll get in another couple hours of work. But usually there are more emails, responding to Re-tweets and such. I also allow some afternoons to go to marketing tasks: creating marketing materials, writing blog posts, or responding to questions or requests for speaking. Or, I may use the afternoon for research on topics related to my current writing project.

In other words, my natural rhythms are to be most alert and productive about mid-morning. I can and will work other times, but I don’t feel as productive. Afternoons, if I try to do too much editing, I get sleepy. That’s when it’s best to keep the mind in motion by researching or other tasks. Editing tasks are essentially boring for me, which is why I’m not great at grammar and I need those of you who are grammar witches.

I leave the office about 4 pm and do whatever errands need to be done–grocery shopping, dry cleaning, miscellaneous shopping, stop by the library, etc. Then home to fix supper. Evenings, I read. And I read almost anything. Currently reading a couple sff novels, a business book on marketing, and looking for a book about the health benefits of juicing.

It’s a rhythm that fits me and my work. What sorts of rhythms fit your work? When do you work best? When do you produce the most writing? When do you edit best? It’s worthwhile to notice and plan around it.

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