Lately I’ve been asked quite a few questions about my routine, what I do, how I find inspiration, etc. I decided to compile everything about my day-to-day into this piece so you could get a little behind-the-scenes.
Typical Weekday Morning:
Wake up around 4/4:15 to write.
Write at least two pieces, sometimes three. (Topics are usually either thoughts that come to my mind as I’m waking up, reflections on something that happened in the past twenty-four hours, or something that interests me. I also have a running list of about 75-100 writing headlines that I reference for ideas, if I get stuck, or to write about when I have the chance.)
Take kids to school. (I nanny part-time and have a family of two boys whom I drive to school every single morning. I love this because it breaks up my concentration and gets me moving so I’m not just sitting and staring at a computer for five hours straight.)
Come home, eat breakfast, schedule social media. (This means sharing what gets posted when, thinking ahead, or sometimes spur of the moment posts. A lot of my Instagram posts are very authentic, meaning whatever I’m writing is exactly what I’m feeling in the moment – these aren’t usually ‘planned’ but just shared live).
Write. (Try to get at least one more piece out. Side note: Inspiration comes from talking to people, conversations, being around friends, spending time with children, people watching, reflecting on my past, learning about others, books/media/movies etc. in addition to expounding on, or taking a different perspective on things I may have written in the morning.)
Brain break. (I literally will lose it if I just sit in one place all day, so I try to break up my concentration by going to a coffee shop to work, taking a walk, throwing in a load of laundry/random chore etc.)
School pickups. (I pick up the kids I nanny from school around 2pm. I try to wrap up the majority of my day a little before two so that I can unwind and focus my attention elsewhere for a few hours.)
Workout. (This is an essential part of my day. I’d typically say my workouts are in the early evening just because it’s convenient with my post-school-pickups. Sometimes I work out in the morning and write in the evening, especially on days I do my #TipsyTuesday Q&A on Instagram to make things more fluid. But regardless, exercise is a must for creativity and staying sane.)
Dinner/unwind. (Dinnertime is when I relax. I love to cook, so I’ll usually cook or go out with friends. I also love watching the sunset or taking night walks. Basically anything relaxing, which can sometimes mean just pleasure writing, too. And because I get up so dang early, you’ll see me sleeping before 11 most nights…which really isn’t even that early. But I try.)
Off days: Sometimes my schedule is totally different because I watch kids for a few hours during the day, or just get sick of the day writing routine. On those days, I’ll swap daytime hours with night and work 5pm – 12am. Honestly, it doesn’t really matter when you write, as logn as you’re writing. (And it doesn’t always matter if it’s amazing writing either. What matters is that you’re being disciplined and challenging yourself to put words on paper.)
What helps me to stay inspired is to be busy. I’ve always been a person who likes an active, full schedule—it just works for me. When I’m busy, I have to manage my time well, which translates into effective writing and not getting distracted by social media/random internet browsing.
I think there’s value in pushing yourself to write, even when you feel you’ve hit ‘Writer’s Block.’ I’m a firm believer that we make excuses and the fact that we ‘can’t write’ is one of those excuses. Identify why or what’s holding you back and push yourself to create something, even if it’s not that good.
Find things that interest you and write about them in a way that makes other people care. For example, I loved and played softball in college. Not everyone cares about my college experience, though, so if I were to write about it, I’d want to write in a way that would be interesting—maybe share a funny or embarrassing story, maybe write about what all athletes understand, maybe write about how sports define you as you grow, etc.
Stop comparing yourself to everyone else. We all have our own writer journeys, our own stories, our own paths. If you’re so focused on what everyone else is doing, you’ll never be the best YOU. Stop worrying about where you fit, or trying to emulate everyone else’s style. Focus on your voice and build that.
Any words, suggestions, thoughts or questions? Comment below!