Routine Blog 1: Why bother?

I’ve been watching Christy Anne Jones on YouTube. You can check out her awesome videos here. Besides being delightful, she has a series where she explores the writing routines of various successful writers to see how effective or not they are for her. I watched like four in a row.

I’ve always been fascinated with routines and those who can manage to maintain them. I can’t. My brain refuses. Nothing I do sticks. The closest thing I have to a routine is changing what I do almost daily.

However, I need to establish something. I need to beat my brain into obedience somehow, someway. What I haven’t done–which feels pretty silly considering my educational background–is approach the problem scientifically. So this series of blogs will explore the routine issue using as much of the scientific method as I can while trying to manipulate my brain and the rest of the people in my life to cooperate. Though it will be completely biased because I’m the only test subject.

Normally, we’d start with a hypothesis. For this project, I think it’s better to list my goals, the things I’m aiming to accomplish which I can break up by weekday and weekend and then into smaller segments during those days until I find something that I can mostly stick with.

Big Picture Goals

  1. Write two novels and two short stories a year.
    • This gives me a book in each series I’m currently working on. When I finish one series, I can add the next one swirling around in my head.
    • Short stories are excellent as giveaways for my newsletter as well as a palate cleanser between novels.
    • The writing of the book includes the outline, but not the revising.
  2. Revise two books a year.
    • Revising is a different beast from writing. Often I’ll be writing one project and revising another at the same time.
  3. Exercise at least three days a week.
    • If I want to live long enough to finish any of these novels, I have to prioritize exercise. I’m much too out of shape even for my age. I must fix that before I run out of time.
  4. Day job responsibilities for Cursed Dragon Ship Publishing.
    • Like most writers, this gig is not paying the bills. I still have the day job to content with, but I’m lucky enough that I’m the boss so my time is flexible as long as I get it done.
  5. Household chores and projects.
    • You know, the normal stuff we all need to get done every day like dinner and dishes and a few other things, as well as the once a week projects like scrubbing bathrooms and vacuuming.
    • I’d also put the bigger projects like finish painting my room and re-planting the front garden in this category.
  6. Reading.
    • I have to keep up with reading, not only for my own well being, but to stay informed for my business and writing. It’s vital, not just a hobby.
  7. Extracurriculars.
    • What’s the point of any of this if I don’t spend time with friends and family?
    • I love to bake and experiment with new recipes. My life will be a darker place if I stop.
    • I enjoy cross stitching and playing video games. These are less important and can come and go in spurts when I have time.

Wow! That’s quite a list. No wonder I can’t get all of the things done. Since I doubt seriously I’ll find something that magically works transforming my life into a bright ball of light that shines down for all to see, I’m aiming for a more analytical view of what works and what doesn’t. I’m hoping for a few different kinds of daily routines that I can slot in for a week to keep my brain and body engaged so I can accomplish my ambitions while still becoming a prolific writer, a more engaged partner, mother, and friend, a supportive publisher, and a healthy almost fifty year old.

So for the next week, I’ll collect the ways I’ve organized myself in the past and routines that worked at least for a time so I can set up some days. So next Monday, I’ll choose one and do it for the whole week. Rinse and repeat for the Monday after. So on and so forth until I have some data to analyze. While I’m gathering hints and tricks, what advice do you have for me? Please share below. I’d love to try what works for you as well.

Oh, and it’s my birthday week–hence the self-reflection. For my birthday, Cursed Dragon Ship Publishing has put all of my ebooks on sale for 99¢. If you’ve been waiting for a sale or want to gift one to a friend, now’s your chance. Check out their blog about it here.

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